Pieris japonica (Japanese Pieris)

Scientific Name

Pieris japonica (Thunb.) D. Don ex G. Don

Common Names

Japanese Pieris, Japanese Andromeda, Lily-of-the-valley Bush


Andromeda japonica (basionym), Lyonia polita, Lyonia popowii, Pieris japonica var. taiwanensis, Pieris polita, Pieris popowii, Pieris taiwanensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Pieris


Color: White
Bloom Time: Spring


Pieris japonica is a shrub or a small tree, up to 13.1 feet (4 m) tall, occasionally up to 32.8 feet (10 m), with alternate, simple leaves on brittle stems. The flowers are white, borne in early spring and usually lasts for two or three weeks.

Pieris japonica - Japanese Pieris
Photo via merrittcollegeshrubid.blogspot.com

How to Grow and Care

As they are originally from a forested habitat, they do best in dappled shade. Intense sun in early spring can burn the tender new growth. They will not do too well in full shade as they won't produce as many flowers, and the color of the new growth won't be as intense. They need well-drained but moisture-retentive humus-rich acid soil. If you have alkaline soil, you will have to grow it in a pot; you can add ericaceous compost and feed and mulch with pine needles, but it will only be temporary, and an alkaline soil will always be an alkaline soil.

They are a hardy shrub, but it may need some protection from late frosts, which will burn the new growth and flowers. The frost probably won't kill the plant, but it will mar the spring display, which is usually the main reason it is grown.

Plant them to the same depth as they are in the pot and water well. Keep an eye on the watering in the first season, particularly if there is a long dry spell. See more at How to Grow and Care for a Lily of the Valley Bush.


Native to eastern China, Taiwan, and Japan, where it grows in mountain thickets.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars, and Hybrids


Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

We participate in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliate sites.