Mitsu-ba, Japanese Honeywort, Japanese Parsley 'Atropurpurea'

Cryptotaenia japonica

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cryptotaenia (krip-toh-TEE-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Atropurpurea




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Sherwood, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Lexington, Virginia

Spokane, Washington

Franklin, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 6, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The maroon spring foliage color fades toward green as the season progresses. This plant is grown for its foliage---the flowers are tiny and ornamentally insignificant.

Self-sows to weedy proportions. Difficult to deadhead consistently. Here on the east coast and in the Pacific northwest, it can become an uncontrollable weed. It's too soon to know for certain, but its increase is so alarming that many people consider it not just weedy but probably invasive of natural areas.

Introduced to North American horticulture in 1997. This was heavily promoted in the fine gardening press, till many gardeners learned from hard experience what a weed it can become.


On May 13, 2009, jackidee from Sherwood, OR wrote:

Nice dark foliage, but hard to see those flowers to keep deadheaded. Really seeds aggressively.


On Apr 8, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is a very aggressive weed for me - I have planted it some years ago and now I am trying to get rid of every last one - they will grow both sun and woodland shade but strongly prefer partial shade. They germinate strongly from seeds, overwhelm low growing plants. Flowers is insignificant and this species is grown mainly for its maroon foliages.

I consider this a noxious weed and I strongly cautious against planting it close to woodland that have native wildflowers.