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Japanese Raisin Tree, Honey Tree

Hovenia dulcis

Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Hovenia (ho-VEN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: dulcis (DUL-sis) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

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:


Visalia, California

Bartow, Florida

Winslow, Indiana

Louisville, Kentucky

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Pass Christian, Mississippi

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 5, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Grows perfectly well in full sun on acid soil in the Arnold Arboretum, Boston Z6a.

It's said that the "fruit" (actually the swollen part of the stem just below the flower/seed) ripens close to frost or just after.


On Jan 17, 2012, CLScott from Calgary,
Canada wrote:

This is the tree from which UCLA scientists have extracted
and used as a source of dihydromyricetin, the anti hangover drug.


On Jul 18, 2009, markdeutsch from Pass Christian, MS wrote:

I planted a foot- tall tree last year in native soil of pH 5.5. It is now 3 ft. tall and reasonably healthy. The leaves are a little pale, but should darken after better nutrition, and after the roots grow deeper.


On Nov 13, 2005, Treeguy from Charleston, SC wrote:

I grew this plant in Florida and I am now growing as part of the inventory of my new Nursery in Columbia, SC. This lovely little tree has drawn rave reviews to people that see it. It has lovely bright green leaves that remind me of those of a Basswood(Linden) which sometimes in fall may turn a muted yellowish color. The bark is smooth on young trees and become very distinctive on older trees with alternanting ridges of light gray and dark gray. Grows fairly fast as a young plant. Should be a very good honey plant!


On Mar 28, 2005, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

A small tree form Japan. I have not grown this species but might try sometime. According to Simon and Schuster's Guide to Trees the swollen twisted stalks that bear the tiny fruit are edible and said to taste vaguely like raisans.


On Apr 19, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

The raisin tree is an attractive deciduous tree when it is in leaf and flower, however, it is very trashy when the fruit falls to the ground. Seedlings sprout easily under the large tree.

If anyone knows how to use the fruit, it would be nice to be able to do something with the crop.


On Nov 6, 2000, Chooch from Chatham-Kent, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

USDA Z 5 - 9
Height: Round
Spread: 25-50ft
Lifespan: 15-25ft
Prefers: Part-shade,
Rejects: Heat,Drought,
Glossy, oval leaves; creamy, slightly showy, fragrant flowers in 3" clusters. Average dimensions at
maturity are 25' tall and 20' wide. "In leaf, form, and texture, the plant resembles the American
basswood...and, like the basswood, possesses a beauty that is rather striking" .
The tops of unestablished raisin trees may die back in the colder winters. They grow back during the
summer. The raisin tree is usually propagated by seed, or softwood or root cuttings.