Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:


Oenanthe javanica - (Blume.)DC.

Common Name Water Dropwort, Java waterdropwort, Stolon waterdropwort
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 5-11
Known Hazards Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus that contains a number of very poisonous plants and so some caution is advised[K]. It is said to contain the alleged 'psychotroph' myristicine[218].
Habitats Ditches, ponds and wet places in lowland areas all over Japan[58]. Marshlands, lakeshores, muddy stream banks and shallow water at elevations of 600 - 3000 metres in most parts of China[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea to Australia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Oenanthe javanica Water Dropwort, Java waterdropwort, 	Stolon waterdropwort
Oenanthe javanica Water Dropwort, Java waterdropwort, 	Stolon waterdropwort


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Oenanthe javanica is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


O. stolonifera.


 Ground Cover; Pond; Bog Garden; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root  Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment

Young leaves and stems - raw or cooked[2, 46, 61, 105]. The leaves are also used as a seasoning in soups etc[179, 183]. The flavour is reminiscent of carrots or parsley[206]. The young shoots that sprout from the root in winter are best[116, 206]. A major vegetable in many parts of the Orient, the leaves are a rich source of vitamins and minerals (Analysis available)[218]. Root - cooked. Highly esteemed in Japan[116], the roots can grow up to 30cm long in water[183]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Seed is said to be edible[183].


Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
  • 298 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 19.9g; Fat: 3.2g; Carbohydrate: 62.8g; Fibre: 12.8g; Ash: 14.9g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 1202mg; Phosphorus: 585mg; Iron: 32mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 192mg; Potassium: 4713mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 24mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.64mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.34mg; Niacin: 10.6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 149mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Depurative  Febrifuge  Styptic

The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge and styptic[147, 178]. A decoction is used in the treatment of epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, haematuria and metrorrhagia[147]. The seed contains 3.5% essential oil. This is effective at large dilutions against pathogenic fungi[218].


Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses


Spreading rapidly by means of suckers, it makes a good ground cover plant for wet situations. The variegated cultivar 'Flamingo' has been especially recommended[200].

Special Uses

Ground cover  Scented Plants


Cultivation details

Requires a wet fertile soil or shallow water and a sunny position[200]. This plant is quite possibly not hardy in Britain, [200] gives a hardiness zone of 10, which means that it is not frost tolerant. However [58 and 266] say that it grows in all areas of China and lowland Japan and this should include areas that do experience frosts and snow. Another report says that many forms of this species are not frost-hardy, though some forms have hardy roots[206]. The sub-species O. javanica rosthornii is found at elevations up to 4000 metres in China and is sometimes also found in drier habitats such as grassland at forest margins[266] - this form should be hardier than the species[K]. There is also a lot of confusion over the correct name for this species. Some reports give O. stolonifera. DC. or O. stolonifera. Wall as the correct name whilst other reports say that these names are synonyms of O. javanica. [200] says that O. stolonifera japonica. (Miq.)Maxim. is a synonym of O. javanica. The Flora of China treats this as a highly variable single species under the name O. javanica and recognizes at least one sub-species[266]. This species is occasionally cultivated for its edible root[183] or for its edible leaves according to another report[179], there are some named varieties[183]. There are two main forms of this species, a red form has edible shoots whilst a white form is grown for its medicinal root[178]. In Japan this plant and six other herbs are customarily boiled in rice gruel on January 7th[183]. The cultivar 'Su Zhou' is medium early and has few fibres plus an excellent taste[183].


Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is erratic[206]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring[206]. Large divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Layering[200]. Stem tip cuttings[200]. Any part of the stem roots easily[206].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Oenanthe aquaticaWater Dropwort, Fineleaf waterdropwortPerennial1.5 0-0  LMHNWeWa02 
Oenanthe peucidanifolia Perennial1.0 -  LMHNWe10 
Oenanthe pimpinelloidesMeadow Parsley, Corkyfruit waterdropwortPerennial1.0 7-10  LMHNMWe10 
Oenanthe sarmentosaWater Dropwort,Water parselyPerennial1.0 0-0  LMHNMWe31 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

June   Sun Sep 17 2006

Dear Whomever it may concern, Hello. I am a highschool student currently attending Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. I am enrolled in the research class there and I wanted to perfrom my research on this plant. I have done lots of research so far and I have found little information is to what I wanted. Because my researched sources are not the most recent literature, I was wondering if you could help me and find some information about this plant and their ability to help purify water. Or see if the research of this plant purifying water has been performed before. Thank you so much. your response will mean a lot to me. my e-mail address is Please email asap. thank you again. -June

javanica   Wed Nov 15 2006

my named is javanica i just want to know what it mean's

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Mon Nov 20 2006

The name javanica was given to the plant because it is found on the Island of Java (amongst many other places).

Paul Barney   Tue Dec 29 2009

The variety 'Flamingo' is hardy in the UK. It has an attractive pink variagation.

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Oenanthe javanica  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.
Web Design & Management