Japanese chaff flower
Achyranthes japonica (Miq.) Nakai


Achyranthes japonica is a perennial herb that can grow up to about 6.5 ft. (2 m) tall. Stems are glabrous or slightly pubescent.
Ovate-elliptic leaves are opposite and simple. Margins are entire and repand (slightly wavy). The base of the leaf is tapering and the apex is acute to acuminate.
The small flowers have no petals and are clustered tightly on the inflorescence which occur at the ends of the stems and upper branches. They flower in summer.
The fruits are elliptic utricles that are held tightly along the stem. Fruits contain a single seed and each plant produces many seeds. Each fruit has a pair of stiff bracts that can attach to fur or clothing, allowing the seed to be easily spread.
Ecological Threat
Although Achyranthes japonica prefers partial sun and moist soils it can survive in shade and dry conditions. It readily invades bottomland forests, wooded riverbanks, roadsides, ditches and field edges. Achyranthes japonica can form dense monocultures shading and outcompeting native plant species.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Caryophyllidae
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Achyranthes
Subject: Achyranthes japonica (Miq.) Nakai


Plants - Forbs/Herbs