Stephanandra tanakae
Common Name: stephanandra 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellowish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Erosion


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic, well-composted loams. In ideal growing conditions, plants will spread rapidly by root suckers and rooting of the stems at the stem ends where they touch the ground to form large impenetrable colonies. Entangled branching often makes pruning difficult. Prune to thin stems immediately after flowering. If needed, mature plants can be cut back hard to the base in late winter for renovation.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Stephanandra tanakae, commonly called Japanese stephanandra or tanaka stephanandra, is a deciduous shrub of the rose family that typically matures over time to 8-10' tall and as wide. It is particularly noted for its sprawling but attractive habit, arching branches, attractive green foliage, excellent yellow-orange fall color and ruddy winter stems. It is native to hills and alpine slopes in Japan. Incised, sharply-toothed, long-pointed, 3-5 lobed, ovate, alternate, bright green leaves (2-5" long) are pubescent beneath. Leaves turn an outstanding yellow-orange in fall. Tiny, 5-stellate, creamy yellowish-white flowers (1/5" across) with cup-shaped calyx tubes bloom in panicles to 2-4" long in late spring to early summer (May-June). Each flower has 15-20 stamens. Flowers are followed by dry dehiscent fruits (follicles). Tawny stems are attractive in winter.

This species typically grows much larger than Stephanandra incisa which features more deeply cut foliage on plants rising to 2-3' tall.

This species is now listed by some authorities as Neillia tanakae as the result of certain newly emerging genetic evidence.

Genus name comes from the Greek words stephanos meaning a crown and aner or andros meaning a man, hence stamen for its appearance as a crown.

Specific epithet honors Japanese botanist Yoshio Tanaka (1838-1916).


No serious insect or disease problems.


Woodland gardens. Shrub borders.