JGarden Logo



Buy it from Amazon
Japanese Garden Design
Keane, Marc Peter
[JGarden Bibliography]


JOJG articles New Section
web articles
features archive
books, etc.

jgarden news

Keep up with JGarden changes and news!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter:

gardens tools resources

Japanese Garden Plants
This is where to find details on plants. We don't have a lot of images, but we'll be providing articles and details as we are able. If you have materials to contribute or gaps to fill in, please let us know.

Japanese Name:Janohige, Ryunohige, Tamaryu 
English Name:Lilyturf, Mondo Grass, Japanese Snake's Beard, Monkey Grass 
Latin Name:Ophiopogon japonicus Ker-Gawl 
Sub Type: 
Native Habitat: 
Light:most lighting conditions 
Flower Color:white to pale lilac 
Bloom Time:early summer 
Height:12 - 15 inches (30 cm) 
Uses:roots and other underground parts have some medicinal purposes 
Last Updated:9/12/2001 
Details: This rhizomatous grass is native to Japan and Korea (zone 7-10) and makes a beautiful edge to paths and groundcover. It is in the same family as Liriope sp., also known as Lilyturf. It grows to about 12-15 inches in height with stiff, glossy, dark green leaves. The flowers appear in summer as racemes of white or pale purple flowers with blue berry-like seeds appearing and ripening in the autumn. The grass forms a very dense mat that is very difficult for weeds to penetrate once established. It grows quite well in many soils and in most lighting conditions, provided the soil is well-drained. Water and weed well in the first year to establish. In areas cooler than zone 7, the grass can be grown potted and then stored in a cool dry place during the winter. The plant can be propagated by seed or division.

The underground portions of the plant are known to have some medicinal properties in the Chinese tradition. (See pharmceutical name, Radix Ophiopogonis.

Tamaryû is the commercial name used in Japan for this plant.

Ophiopogon japonicus var. caespitosus Okuyama (kabutachi-janohige)
Ophiopogon jaburan (noshi-ran) - a similar related plant which is often used in the same way as well as in potted. It is a larger species with leaves 30-90 cm.

For further reference:
Japanese Garden Society of Oregon. Oriental Gardening. New York: Pantheon Books, 1996, p. 148, 150.

Kitamura, Fumio and Ishizu Yurio. Garden Plants in Japan. Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1963, p. 239.


©1996-2002, Robert Cheetham; ©2019 Japanese Garden Research Network, Inc.
Contact Us Site Index Privacy Policy