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Jul 1, 2018

Niigata’s plant life

I feel like I’ve said it several times - one of the things I adore most about living in Japan is the wide variety of plant life that thrives here. It seems like no matter the season, there’s something in bloom to enjoy...apart from the winter months in Niigata where stark white is par for the course.


Lately I’ve noticed some pretty unique flowers around my local area that I couldn’t help but stop to take some pictures of. 

Niigata’s plant life photo

First up were these Dr. Seuss looking flowers! If you’ve read the book “The Lorax” you’ll likely appreciate the reference...looks similar, right?

Niigata’s plant life photo

Turns out that the purple flowers are called allium and they’re actually related to onion, garlic, leek, shallots and chives!


Then there are these tall ones I’ve been seeing everywhere that I also love! I’m still not sure of their official name (if anyone knows feel free to comment!) but they seem to do pretty well in the climate here. These ones are growing not far from my house by some of the rice fields...

Niigata’s plant life photo

But I’ve seen them all over...including growing behind some vacant space by the train station!

Niigata’s plant life photo

I think the part that astounds me most about plant life here in Japan is just how well everything grows. I spent the majority of my life in Australia, and seeing flowers just pop up like this is still a novelty to me - stuff just doesn’t grow like this back home. 


I’m also enthusiastic about being able to enjoy so much color. I feel like even though we’re probably five months out from the first snow of winter here, I’m already dreading just how cold and monochromatic things get in this part of Japan. I’m trying to soak up everything that’s bright, colorful and quirky to store in my memory bank (and my phone camera roll!) for when winter does arrive later this year.

genkidesu

genkidesu

After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!


6 Comments

  • edthethe

    on Jul 2

    The second flowers are all over here too! but they are def treated like weeds *cry* everyone chops them down! I plan to find out the name sometime so if I do, I will let you know.

  • genkidesu

    on Jul 2

    @edthethe I feel like it's kind of the same here - some are in people's gardens but for the most part they seem to be roadside or random spot flowers. Meanwhile I'm snapping pictures of them like they're the gorgeous things they are...I'm sure some of the Niigata locals think I'm nutty!

  • I have been wondering about the second flower for a long time too! They grow along the Setagaya Line and they look so beautiful dancing along with the wind! They are called 'Hollyhock' (alcea rosea) and known as 'aoi' in Japanese. I feel the same way about flowers in Japan! I am mesmerised by the incredible colours and styles and how quickly they grow in urban environments.

  • edthethe

    on Jul 2

    @genkidesu story time so, often the way I find out flower names is by asking random people. Like I said, i want to know the name of this flower, so I stopped and asked this lady out in her tiny garden about them. She had a pair of giant sheers in her hand and when I asked her she started waving them in the air and ranting "I don't know and never want to know! I just want this giant plant out of here!" and started hacking into the flowers like she was murdering them violently. After her frustration, she was really nice and polite and we agreed I should ask someone else, but apparently they are really hard to kill and get rid of if they are growing in your yard.

  • edthethe

    on Jul 12

    I think they might be an invasive species. I was just looking at a list of invasive species in Japan and these were listed as one of the top 100. https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=verbascum&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwid48zyqpjcAhUHlZQKHcyPC_0Q_AUICigB&biw=1440&bih=782#imgrc=-GmgGywVqRncfM:

  • genkidesu

    on Jul 12

    @edthethe they’re so beautiful though!! I’d be happy for them to invade my whole local area, haha...weeds back home in Aus aren’t pretty like this!