Japanese Garden

This section contains a collection of plants of East Asian origin that do not originate from the higher mountain ranges, but from regions with a temperate climate similar to that of Central Europe. At the latest by the ice ages, the East Asian and European floras were permanently separated, so that different but related species (and groups) have developed from an often common origin under comparable conditions.

In the Japanese garden, one can find rarely planted woody plants such as the Japanese red cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), a member of the swamp cypress family (Taxodiaceae), the persimmon (Dyospyros lotus) of the ebony family (Ebenaceae), Idesia polycarpa of the willow family (Salicaceae), and the beauty bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) of the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae), which was first brought to Europe in 1901. Along with bamboo species such as Sinarundinaria nitida and Pseudosasa japonica, winter-hardy species of the woody and often branched grasses (Poaceae), which are native mainly in tropical and subtropical areas, can also be found in the Japanese Garden. The Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis) is in bloom from late summer until late autumn. Indeed, one can also find the shrub with the most luminous fall colors in this area: the burning bush (Euonymus alatus) of the bittersweet family (Celastraceae), which also has very interesting “winged branches” comprised of a corky material.

In the collection of East Asian species, there is also a substantial Rhododendron collection of around 50 species and 100 cultivars, which are spread throughout the botanical garden and provide intense spots of color throughout the springtime with their different blooming times.

The Low German thatched house in the center of the Japanese garden is one of the landmarks of Rostock Botanical Garden.

In the Japanese garden you also encounter a Low German thatched house, also simply called the “Japan House” due to its location. Actually it is an example of Low German wood architecture from the period before World War II, that is also characterized by gazebos with rounded thatched roofs being part of the Heimatschutzstil ("Homeland Protection Style") of that time. Built in 1939 to serve as weather refuge, the wooden building was renovated and partly reconstructed in 2012 and today serves as a classroom and seminary room, in particular for school teaching in the heart of the garden. Restoration and re-equipment were essentially supported by the Friends of the Rostock Botanical Garden, the Merchants' Association of Rostock, the Public Administration for Environment, Nature Conservation, and Geology Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, and Barbara and Andreas Plum.