Included here is most of Japan including Honshu, Kyushu, the southwestern part of Hokkaido, and the smaller islands of Gotto-retto, Tanega, Tsushima and Yaku.

Honshu Sea Cliffs

Sea cliffs in northern zones, such as on the Skimokita Peninsula in Honshu, have a rock crevice community dominated by Chrysanthemum yezoense, Cyrtomium falcatum, Lillium macuratum var. dauricum, Lysimachia mauritiana and Sedum verticillatum, while further inland in the less maritime zones, endemic thickets of Juniperus chinensis var. sargentia with Empetrum nigrum var. japonicum may be present. Other more local endemics of this habitat include Chrysanthemum nipponicum (Asteraceae) and Puccinellia nipponica (Poaceae). In the more southern warm-temperate zones, maritime rocks and scree usually include Carex oahuensis, Miscanthus condensatus and Peucedanum japonicum, while the maritime scrub here includes Elaegnus macrophylla, Euonymus japonica var. radicifer, Eury emarginata, Rhaphiolepis umbellate and Pittospermum tobira.  Amongst the shrubs can be found various maritime forbs such as Farfugium japonicum and Boehmeria biloba.

Hokkaido Sea Cliffs and Scree

The sea cliffs of northern and western Hokkaido are known for their abundance of alpine and boreal species at low altitudes. These include Cochlearia oblongifolia, Dianthus superbus, Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii, Sedum ishidae, Trifolium lupinaster, the near endemic Draba borealis (Brassicaceae) and the endemic Primula modesta var. matsumurae (Primulaceae). At the foot of these cliffs, maritime screes occur supporting species such as Lathyrus maritimus and Lotus corniculatus var. japonicus in the less stabile areas, but with increasing stability these give way to a tall-herb community with species like Artemisia montana, Filipendula kamtschatica, Urtica platyphylla, Cacalia hastata var. orientalis, together with endemics such as Petasites japonicus var. giganteus (Asteraceae) and Polygonum sachalinensis (Polygonaceae).


Kolbek, J., Srutek, M. & Box, E. O. 2003. Forest Vegetation in Northeast Asia. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Numata, M. (ed). 1974. The flora and vegetation of Japan. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company.

Numata, M., Miyawaki, A. & Itow, D. 1972. Natural and semi-natural vegetation in Japan. Blumea, 20: 435-481.

Ohwi, J. 1965. Flora of Japan. Smithsonian Institution. Washington D.C.