Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Nippon Lily, Sacred Lily
Rohdea japonica

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Rohdea (ROH-dee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Orontium japonicum
Synonym:Orontium liliifolium
Synonym:Rohdea esquirolii
Synonym:Rohdea sinensis

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive duncanroadfish On Jan 2, 2014, duncanroadfish from Hemby Bridge, NC wrote:

A wonderful plant and so many different varieties although hard to find some varieties. I have had an interest in these plants for sometime. I first got some from Asiatica (Barry Yinger) when he was still open. He had several great varieties. I also purchased 'Washitakakuma' from Plant Delights and have been very pleased with it although a bit pricey ($100) . I recently purchased some beautiful variegated varieties and now have about 20 different cultivars.

Positive Hikaro_Takayama On May 24, 2012, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I first bought some of these plants at Tony Avent's Plant Delights Nursery in 2006, and have added more since then. The plants are nice, hardy, fully evergreen and REALLY easy to care for: They've survived at least two record or near-record droughts without any supplemental water, and the only "pests" I've had problems with is sometimes desperate wild rabbits will nibble on the leaves during the winter, but not much (apparently they're a bit too tough and chewey for the rabbits' liking).

All in all, a good, easy plant for difficult shady spots.

I'd also reccomend getting some of the varigated cultivars to add variety, if you can afford them, that is.

One thing, though: As has been mentioned before, they are extremely slow spreading, so either get a lot at once (if you can afford them), or be prepared to wait a LONG time.

Positive woolsey15 On Nov 21, 2009, woolsey15 from Mount Kisco, NY wrote:

Bought Rohdea plants in Virgina about 6 or 7 years ago. Currently have 10 clumps growing well in my woodland garden in Northern Westchester County, New York. Slow growing as stated in literature, but I have successfully divided for new plants. Leaf edges sometimes brown a bit towards spring, but still give bright green color all winter. Deer have never eaten it.

Positive fauxtoad On Jun 18, 2008, fauxtoad from Arlington, TN wrote:

Bears bright berries in the late fall and winter that last until late spring.
They are grape sized, in clusters of 6-12, and are born on short stalks that are down in the stems of the leaves. I had them for 2 years before I even noticed the berries.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Fremont, California
East Haddam, Connecticut
Gainesville, Florida
Havana, Florida
Alpharetta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Lawrence, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Mandeville, Louisiana
Baltimore, Maryland (2 reports)
Brick, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Mount Kisco, New York
New York City, New York
Durham, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Indian Trail, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Arlington, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Magnolia, Texas

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