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Ophiopogon japonicus - (L.f.)Ker-Gawl.

Common Name Snake's Beard, Dwarf lilyturf, Mondo Grass, Monkey Grass, Dwarf Lilyturf
Family Convallariaceae
USDA hardiness 7-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp ground[174] in shady places in lowland and foothills[58]. Forests, dense scrub in ravines, moist and shady places on slopes and along streams, cliffs at elevations of 200 - 2800 m in China[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Ophiopogon japonicus Snake


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI
Ophiopogon japonicus Snake
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded, Spreading or horizontal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ophiopogon japonicus is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower in August, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Ground Cover; Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root[61]. A bitterness should be removed according to some reports[105, 177] whilst another says that it is sweet and aromatic[178]. Mucilaginous[179, 218]. The root contains about 1.6% protein, 0.5% fat, 80% carbohydrate, 2.3% ash[179].

Medicinal Uses



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Antipyretic;  Antiscrophulatic;  Antitussive;  Aphrodisiac;  Cancer;  Emollient;  Expectorant;  Nutritive;  
Pectoral;  Sedative;  Sialagogue;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The root is antitussive, aphrodisiac, expectorant, pectoral, sedative, sialogogue, stomachic and tonic[147, 174, 176, 218, 238]. It is said to have anticancer activity[218]. It is used internally in the treatment of dry coughs, fevers, thirst, dry constipation, insomnia, anxiety and palpitations[238]. It is also frequently used in polyherbal treatments of diabetes mellitus[218]. The roots have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus, E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, B. typhi etc[176]. The roots are harvested in the spring and dried for later use[238]. The plant is antipyretic, antiscrofulatic, antitussive, emollient, expectorant and tonic[218]. Lowers blood pressure[176]. Nodules on the fibrous roots are used as a nutritive tonic in the treatment of TB[174].

Other Uses

Soil stabilization.

A good carpeting plant[1, 200] that spreads quite freely[208], it is commonly planted as a ground cover or as a low-maintenance grass substitute[187, 208]. It is particularly valuable for preventing soil erosion[200]. Plants should be spaced about 45cm apart each way[208].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a sandy soil[1]. Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil and also as a submerged aquatic plant, though it does not flower in such a situation[200]. Succeeds in a sunny position if the soil remains moist all year round, otherwise it should be grown in semi-shade[200]. Plants may require winter protection according to one report[1], whilst another says that they are hardy to about -20°c[200]. Plants only succeed outdoors in the milder areas of the country[208]. This species is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[178]. Special Features:Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sandy compost in a cold frame[200]. 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[188].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.f.)Ker-Gawl.

Botanical References

58200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

L.Smith   Thu Aug 24 2006

I am looking for a source that will tell me how long and at what heat to cook this herb for medicinal use!? lssmith9@earthlink.net

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