Ophiopogon (lilyturf) is a genus of evergreen perennial plants with about 65 species, native to warm temperate to tropical east, southeast, and south Asia. Despite their grasslike appearance, they are not closely related to the true grasses Poaceae. The name of the genus is derived from Greek Όφις ophis, "snake", and πόγὦν pogon, "beard", most probably referring to its leaves and tufted growth. In the APG III classification system, it is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae). Like many lilioid monocots, it was formerly classified in the Liliaceae.
They grow from short rhizomes, and bear tufts of leaves, from which flowers emerge in racemes held on short stems above the leaves.
- Selected species
Cultivation and uses
Some species such as Ophiopogon japonicus and Ophiopogon planiscapus are used as ground cover plants.
In Chinese medicine the tuber of Ophiopogon japonicus, known as mai men dong, is the cardinal herb for yin deficiency. According to the Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, the herb is sweet, slightly bitter and slightly cold, enters the heart, lung and stomach channels and nourishes the yin of the stomach, spleen, heart and lungs and clears heat and quiets irritability. It is used for hacking dry coughs, dry tongue and mouth and constipation. Liriope (genus) is used as a substitute.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Ophiopogon
- Flora of China: Ophiopogon
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
- When Perennials Bloom: An Almanac for Planning and Planting By Tomasz Aniśko pg 342
- Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009), "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 132–136, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x
- Bensky, D., Clavey, S., Stoger, E., & Gamble, A. (2004). Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, third edition. Eastland Press.