Japanese Garden

This section contains a collection of plants of East Asian provenience, which come from elevations other than the alpine level. It contains a Low German thatched house, also simply called the “Japan House” due to the location, which is actually an example of typical Low-German wood architecture from the time of the Second World War. Built in 1952 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.

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.
 

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

One attraction in late summer is when the small kiwi fruits of Actinidia chinensis ripen. With its variety bearing the commercial name “Golden Kiwi”, this dioecious liana species has obtained worldwide recognition due to its yellow fleshy fruit. Unlike their green-fruited relative (Actinidia deliciosa), golden kiwis only contain a small amount of the protein-cleaving enzyme actinidain, which coagulates milk products and makes their taste bitter.

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.