Anemarrhena cavaleriei H.Lév.
Convallaria graminifolia Salisb.
Convallaria japonica Thunb.
Flueggea anceps Raf.
Flueggea angulata Raf.
Flueggea japonica (Thunb.) Rich.
Liriope gracilis (Kunth) Nakai
Mondo gracile (Kunth) Koidz.
Mondo japonicum (Thunb.) Farw.
Mondo longifolium Ohwi
Mondo stolonifer (H.Lév. & Vaniot) Farw.
Ophiopogon argyi H.Lév.
Ophiopogon chekiangensis Koiti Kimura & Migo
Ophiopogon gracilis Kunth
Ophiopogon merrillii Masam.
Ophiopogon ohwii Okuyama
Ophiopogon stolonifer H.Lév. & Vaniot
Polygonastrum compressum Moench
Slateria coerulea Siebold ex Miq.
Slateria japonica (Thunb.) Desv.
Tricoryne acaulis D.Dietr.
Tricoryne caulescens D.Dietr.
Common Name: Snake's Beard
Ophiopogon japonicus is an evergreen, perennial plant growing about 30cm tall and spreading at the roots to form dense clumps.
The plant is often cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[
]. It is also often grown in the ornamental garden as a ground cover.
E. Asia - southeastern China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines.
] in shady places in lowland and foothills[
]. Forests, dense scrub in ravines, moist and shady places on slopes and along streams, cliffs at elevations from 200 - 2,800 m in China[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Ophiopogon japonicus is native to the warmer temperate areas and tropical regions of far eastern Asia. It is not a very cold hard plant, but can tolerate short periods with temperatures falling to around -12 to -15°c[
Prefers a sandy soil[
]. Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil and also as a submerged aquatic plant, though it does not flower in such a situation[
]. Succeeds in a sunny position if the soil remains moist all year round, otherwise it should be grown in semi-shade[
This species is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[
]. A bitterness should be removed according to some reports[
] whilst another says that it is sweet and aromatic[
]. The root contains about 1.6% protein, 0.5% fat, 80% carbohydrate, 2.3% ash[
The root is antitussive, aphrodisiac, expectorant, pectoral, sedative, sialagogue, stomachic and tonic[
]. It is also said to have anticancer activity[
]. The root is used internally in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including dry coughs, fevers, thirst, sore throats, tuberculosis, dry constipation, insomnia, anxiety and palpitations[
]. It is also frequently used in polyherbal treatments of diabetes mellitus[
The roots have been shown to have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus, E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, B. typhi etc[
The plant is antipyretic, antiscrofulatic, antitussive, emollient, expectorant and tonic[
Lowers blood pressure[
]. Nodules on the fibrous roots are used as a nutritive tonic in the treatment of TB[
The tuberous roots of 2-year-old plants are collected at the end of the growing season, washed thoroughly and then dried in the sun or in dryers after the two ends and the core have been removed[
The roots are harvested in the spring and dried for later use[
A good carpeting plant[
] that spreads quite freely[
], it is commonly planted as a ground cover or as a low-maintenance grass substitute[
]. It is particularly valuable for preventing soil erosion[
]. Plants should be spaced about 45cm apart each way[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sandy compost in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring[