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Ophiopogon japonicus

Ophiopogon japonicus



About this cultivar:

Ophiopogon japonicus provides green spidery blades, delicate, bell-shaped purplish white flowers on dark spikes, and shiny bluish black fruit; all good reasons to invite this versatile perennial into your garden. The green coloured evergreen tufts with newly emerging green leaves can be dramatically juxtaposed against golden Carex, Athyrium, or Hakonechloa. But most people use it next to a path or in a pot...

These photos were taken whilst undercover at Lyon Botanic Gardens.

  • Position: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
  • Flowers: April, May, June
  • Other features: Interesting Foliage or Fruit, Suitable for Container, Great Ground Cover
  • Hardiness: H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10°C), Fully hardy, grows well in Ballyrobert
  • Habit: Clump forming, Tufted
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Height: 10 - 25 cm (0.3 - 0.8 ft)
  • Spread: 15 - 45 cm (0.5 - 0.8 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, Grass like
  • Colour: Green
  • Goes well with: Carex, Athyrium, or Hakonechloa

About this genus:

Ophiopogon (of-e-op-o-gon), commonly know as lily turf, is a genus of evergreen perennial plants 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 ophis, snake, and pogon, beard, most probably referring to its leaves and tufted growth.

They grow from short rhizomes, and bear tufts of leaves, from which flowers emerge in racemes held on short stems above the leaves. Nestled in between rocks, at the front of a border, in a pot, along pathways, near water or en masse Ophiopogon is an easy going ground cover. It competes well with other plant roots, and favours most soils in full sun to part shade.

Try it with other similar foliage plants!