Kochia (summer cypress)

Amaranthaceae Family (formerly chenopodiaceae) kochia genus

Kochia (summer cypress) is an annual plant native to dry lands in the Eurasian Continent. As kochia grow, their colour changes from vibrant green in the summer to a greenish-red and finally to a bright scarlet in October. Kochia bushes are known for their unique round shape and fluffy texture. Kochia were first planted in Hitachi Seaside Park so that visitors could enjoy the vibrant Autumn colours as most trees in the park are evergreen pines.

Area size
around 1.9 hectares
Total number of plants
32,000
When to visit
Green kochia: mid-July – late September
Green-red gradient: early October
Scarlet red: mid-October
Golden: late October
Location
Miharashi no Oka Hill

Kochia Q&A

What are kochia?

In Japanese, kochia are known as ‘hokigusa’, meaning a plant for making brooms after drying. Kochia also produce edible nuts known as ‘tonburi’, a speciality of Akita Prefecture. Tonburi is also known as ‘the caviar of the field’ thanks to its similar shape, colour and texture. The kochia in Hitachi Seaside Park are for decorative purposes only and do not produce any edible products.

Are kochia grown from seeds?

The kochia in Hitachi Seaside Park are planted when they are already seedlings of around 10 – 15cm. All 32,000 plants are planted by hand.