Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Snowrose, Tree of a Thousand Stars
Serissa japonica

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Serissa (ser-ISS-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Serissa foetida

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms all year
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From woody stem cuttings
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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Thumbnail #1 of Serissa japonica by hgurule

By MaryinLa
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Thumbnail #7 of Serissa japonica by vroomp

There are a total of 14 photos.
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5 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BUFFY690 On Aug 21, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

My Serissa shrub died completely back and went missing for a year, suprisingly enough as I was about to dig and replant that space, it has returned and grown to about 2 feet this year...I missed my Tree of a Thousand Stars

Positive jrjohns On May 17, 2010, jrjohns from Charlotte, NC wrote:

I have had Serissa foetida growing in an unsheltered outdoor location in a flower garden in Charlotte, NC for seven years. I am in zone 7a, and Serissa is not considered hardy here, but mine has consistently provided us with many beautful tiny pink flowers, and so far has not shown any damage from cold weather.

Neutral 0922gin On Oct 15, 2009, 0922gin from Boston, MA wrote:

My serissa foetida floraplena is nice and healthy looking, just dropping the occasional leaf. It's not a bonsai. It's under lights 10-12 hours each day. But it will not bloom. About every third watering it gets fed a liquid feed of 7-9-5. Once in a great while I've tried a bloom-buster (10-54-10) out of deparation. I've been able propagate two plants from stem cuttings, so it's got some juice in it. But WHY WON'T IT BLOOM?

Positive vroomp On May 19, 2003, vroomp from Marietta, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is very easy to grow. I have had 2 Pink Snowrose variety bushes for several years now and they require no special care. They get the same balanced fertilizer everything else gets during the growing season. I do suggest you protect from wind as they will get windburn in winter and shead even more leaves. Afternoon shade is prefered also.

Neutral kitashi On Mar 22, 2003, kitashi wrote:

Actually I just got my Snow Rose yesterday. It's starting to let a few of its leaves fall, but I read somewhere that the Snow Rose is finicky when it changes environments. Well, if anyone would like to e-mail me any tips on my Snow Rose I'd really appreciate it. :) I'm at ""

Positive sclarke On Mar 12, 2003, sclarke from Macungie, PA wrote:

this plant is beautiful. i just acquired serissa "kyoto", what i see to be a darker-leaved variety with pink flowers, from Meehan's Miniatures, a fabulous Bonsai "company" based out of Maryland. i've had it a week, so no experience here. will post pictures.

seems a relatively easy plant to care for. keeping this one indoors.

Positive WingedJewel On May 3, 2002, WingedJewel wrote:

I live in East Texas and purchased this plant over 5 years ago knowing nothing about it, except its name. It has best thrived in almost full sun (only slightly shaded by a vitex). I also have severl small ones that I have propagated from cuttings placed in different areas around my yard. It has survived in drought condition and 110 degree to almost 0 degree weather. It has never failed to flower as long as I have had it.

Neutral Daistarya On Apr 6, 2002, Daistarya wrote:

Common names: Snow Rose, Thousand Star, Star of June
Serissa Foetida are delicate bonsai that will drop their leaves if there is a drastic change in light, water, or temperature. A humidity tray is suggested but do not allow the water to touch the drainage hole in the bottom of the plant. This allows water to rise into the soil and may cause root rot. Misting is optional but not during the flowering season because it may damage the sensitive flowers. This tree is not recommended for a beginner.

Neutral Terry On Aug 30, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A relative to the Coffee plant, Serissa is a favorite of bonsai enthusiasts. The species name refers to the fetid smell of the leaves and stems when bruised.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Brea, California
Bartow, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Marietta, Georgia
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Independence, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Vidalia, Louisiana
Henderson, Nevada
Hollywood, South Carolina
Prosperity, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas

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