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sourcing japanese mountain vegetables (us)

 
gardener
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several months ago when alan carter was here and there was a giveaway for his book, he mentioned here about some woody possibilities for the forest garden, namely koshiabura and harigiri, both woody members of araliaceae that grow wild in japan, and whose shoots are foraged in the springtime as sansai - ‘mountain vegetables’.

does anyone have leads on seeds or cuttings for these plants, or others used similarly? the latin names for the two mentioned are Kalopanax septemlobus and Chengiopanax sciadophylloides. i know of some wild domestic araliaceae and have access to several - that’s not what i’m looking for here. alan is in the uk and the sources on his website don’t seem geared towards the us, but i haven’t dug into them too deeply.
 
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It looks like you'll have more luck sourcing Kalopanax septemlobus. i found seeds available at B&T world seeds. Based in France but they ship world wide I believe. There seems to be a few examples in botanic gardens around the US and it is naturalised in some Eastern States - presumably spread by birds: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/07/29/invasive-tree-taking-root-may-trace-back-harvard/pI3nBvzsdQ0QRNSb9P7KgN/story.html  I think I got one from Edulis nurseries in the UK last year, but it didn't survive being planted out. I'll have to grow it on a bit next time I try.

I could find very little English language on Chengiopanax sciadophylloides, although there is a little on it's uses here: https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Koshiabura_10469.php
I did find that crug farm plants in the UK list it : https://mailorder.crug-farm.co.uk/default.aspx?pid=9417  but that is the only UK source according to the RHS and I could find no US references.
 
Nancy Reading
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Nancy Reading wrote: I think I got one from Edulis nurseries in the UK last year, but it didn't survive being planted out. I'll have to grow it on a bit next time I try.


Ha! I went to check and it seems OK! Only about 6in tall so far and we've still got the worst of the winter to go, but looking good!
Kalopanax-septemlobus-first-year-sapling.jpg
Kalopanax-septemlobus-first-year-sapling
 
Nancy Reading
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I didn't talk a picture over the summer, but my harigiri tree is looking good!

harigiri sansai shoots kalopanax
Harigiri buds swelling


I think I'll resist trying it for another year. It seems to be quite happy, and we had a moderately cold winter (for us). There is only the one shoot that looks as if it will be big enough to be worth picking, and I'd rather it put the energy into growing still.
 
greg mosser
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thanks for the update, nancy, and the reminder about these plants! i’ll have to have another search for plants before going the seed route…
 
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greg mosser wrote:several months ago when alan carter was here and there was a giveaway for his book, he mentioned here about some woody possibilities for the forest garden, namely koshiabura and harigiri, both woody members of araliaceae that grow wild in japan, and whose shoots are foraged in the springtime as sansai - ‘mountain vegetables’.

does anyone have leads on seeds or cuttings for these plants, or others used similarly? the latin names for the two mentioned are Kalopanax septemlobus and Chengiopanax sciadophylloides. i know of some wild domestic araliaceae and have access to several - that’s not what i’m looking for here. alan is in the uk and the sources on his website don’t seem geared towards the us, but i haven’t dug into them too deeply.



I tried to search Chengiopanax sciadophylloides by synonyms. No Chengiopanax sciadophylloides sourcing information in the US was found.

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-38898

Chengiopanax sciadophylloides synonym:
Acanthopanax sciadophylloides Franch. & Sav.
Acanthopanax sciadophylloides f. albovariegatus Sugaya
Eleutherococcus sciadophylloides (Franch. & Sav.) H.Ohashi
Eleutherococcus sciadophylloides f. albovariegatus (Sugaya) H.Ohashi
Kalopanax sciadophylloides (Franch. & Sav.) Harms

More on the Eleutherococcus family
http://rslandscapedesign.blogspot.com/2010/03/fothergilla.html

I don't have koshiabura and harigiri growing here, but I found Eleutherococcus sieboldianus growing bottom of the hill of my property when I moved here. My neighbor planted it a long time ago to mark the property line (?), I am guessing.  
Also edible. Spring shoots, and the new growth. You can use dried branches to make tea or stuff inside chicken when you make soup. Poor man's ginseng. :)
 
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As someone with social anxiety I once considered trying to travel some of the world alone (via the "one pack" system to avoid check on), exploring and trying to find rare vegetables so I could bring the seeds back to the US. Japan was on my list, as was most of the Caribbean, especially Trinidad and Tobago, perhaps remote Asia.

Just imagine, what kind of rare plants are commonly available in the less discussed regions of the world now? What about landraces from inner Mongolia? Wild edibles from the side of an ancient Buddhist temple in the Japanese mountains?

I know I've been waiting for Strictly Medicinal to have hot wasabi in for some time now. Mr. Richo from S.M. did some of what I just discussed, and has a video series from exploring Zanzibar I believe?
 
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