Serissa japonica 'Kowloon'

Kowloon Japanese Serissa, Yellow-rim



Family: Rubiaceae

Genus: Serissa

Parent: Serissa japonica

Category: Shrub - Evergreen

Zones: 7 to 9

Size: 2 to 3' tall and wide

Growth Rate: Slow

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Tiny, white, star-shaped flowers intermittently from spring through autumn, small dark green leaves with much heavier variegation than the other cultivars - white marginal variegation and central banding, compact, dense plant. The leaves are supposed to be malodorous when bruised. Needs a moist soil and will do well in a soil that retains moisture. Popular for bonsai in Japan. Do not water if the leaves drop as the roots will rot. Prune periodically if leggy.


Native to southeastern Asia where it grows in open woodlands and wet meadows.

Other Cultivars: 

My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-gallon plant from Nurseries Caroliniana in September 2010 and planted it in the 'One Of Everything' garden. It died back to the ground over the winter but came back from the roots in spring. It did not get any larger in 2011 than it had been the previous year, about 9" tall and wide. The leaves mostly dropped in the first cold spell of autumn 2011 but it came back in 2012, although it has remained small.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner