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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Asparagaceae
Subfamilia: Nolinoideae
Tribus: Ophiopogoneae
Genus: Ophiopogon
Species: O. clarkei – O. intermedius – O. jaburan – O. japonicus – O. planiscapus

Ophiopogon Ker Gawl.

New Species of Ophiopogon and Peliosanthes (Asparagaceae) from Laos and Vietnam Taiwania 61(3): 201‒217, 2016 2016/8/23 DOI: 10.6165/tai.2016.61.201

Ophiopogon (lilyturf)[2] is a genus of evergreen perennial plants native to warm temperate to tropical East, Southeast, and South Asia.[1][3] Despite their grasslike appearance, they are not closely related to the true grasses, the 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.[4][5][6][7] In the APG III classification system, it is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae).[8] 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.


Ophiopogon acerobracteatus - Guangdong
Ophiopogon albimarginatus - Guangxi
Ophiopogon amblyphyllus - Sichuan, Yunnan
Ophiopogon angustifoliatus - S China
Ophiopogon bockianus - S China, Vietnam
Ophiopogon bodinieri - China, Bhutan
Ophiopogon brevipes - Thailand
Ophiopogon caulescens - SE Asia
Ophiopogon chingii - S China
Ophiopogon clarkei - C + E Himalayas
Ophiopogon clavatus - S China
Ophiopogon confertifolius - Thailand
Ophiopogon cordylinoides - N Myanmar
Ophiopogon corifolius - Guangxi, Guizhou
Ophiopogon dracaenoides - S China, N Indochina, E Himalayas
Ophiopogon filipes - Guangxi
Ophiopogon fooningensis - Yunnan
Ophiopogon grandis - Yunnan, Guizhou, Myanmar
Ophiopogon heterandrus - S China
Ophiopogon hongjiangensis - Yunnan
Ophiopogon humilis - Cambodia, Vietnam
Ophiopogon intermedius - S China, S + SE Asia
Ophiopogon jaburan - Korea, Jeju-do, Japan, Nansei-shoto
Ophiopogon japonicus - E Asia, Philippines
Ophiopogon jiangchengensis - Yunnan
Ophiopogon kradungensis - Thailand
Ophiopogon latifolius - Yunnan, Guangxi, Vietnam
Ophiopogon leptophyllus - Assam
Ophiopogon longifolius - Vietnam
Ophiopogon lushuiensis - Yunnan
Ophiopogon mairei - S China
Ophiopogon malcolmsonii - Myanmar
Ophiopogon marmoratus - S China, N Indochina
Ophiopogon megalanthus - Yunnan
Ophiopogon menglianensis - Yunnan
Ophiopogon micranthus - Assam
Ophiopogon motouensis - Tibet
Ophiopogon multiflorus - Guangxi
Ophiopogon ogisui - Guangxi
Ophiopogon paniculatus - Sichuan
Ophiopogon peliosanthoides - S China, Vietnam
Ophiopogon pierrei - Cambodia
Ophiopogon pingbienensis - Yunnan
Ophiopogon planiscapus - Japan
Ophiopogon platyphyllus - S China, Vietnam
Ophiopogon pseudotonkinensis - Guangxi
Ophiopogon regnieri - Vietnam
Ophiopogon reptans - S China, N Indochina, Assam
Ophiopogon reversus - Guangxi, Hainan
Ophiopogon revolutus - Yunnan, Thailand
Ophiopogon sar-garhwalensis - Uttarakhand
Ophiopogon sarmentosus - Yunnan, Guangxi
Ophiopogon siamensis - N Thailand
Ophiopogon sinensis - Yunnan, Guangxi
Ophiopogon sparsiflorus - Guangxi, Guangdong
Ophiopogon stenophyllus - S China
Ophiopogon subverticillatus - Vietnam
Ophiopogon sylvicola - Sichuan, Guizhou
Ophiopogon szechuanensis - Sichuan, Yunnan
Ophiopogon tienensis - Yunnan, Guangxi
Ophiopogon tonkinensis - Yunnan, Guangxi, Vietnam
Ophiopogon tsaii - Yunnan
Ophiopogon umbraticola - S China
Ophiopogon vietnamensis - Vietnam
Ophiopogon xylorrhizus - Yunnan
Ophiopogon yunnanensis - Yunnan
Ophiopogon zingiberaceus - Sichuan, Yunnan

Cultivation and uses

Some species, such as O. japonicus and O. planiscapus, are used as ground-cover plants.

In Chinese medicine, the tuber of O. 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; it enters the heart, lung and stomach channels, thus 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 is used as a substitute.[9]

Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 252 沿阶草属 yan jie cao shu Ophiopogon Ker Gawler, Bot. Mag. 27: t. 1063. 1807.
Germplasm Resources Information Network: Ophiopogon Archived 2009-01-15 at the Wayback Machine
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.

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