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Sacred Lily Rohdea

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Sacred Lily:

Previously known as:

  • Campylandra
Description

 

Sacred lilies are rhizomatous herbaceous evergreen perennial plants in the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). They are native to eastern Asia that includes Bhutan, China, India, Japan, and Thailand. In their native environment, they are found in moist woodlands, grassy slopes, and dense forests. The Rohdea were named after the Bremen botanist, Michael Rohde, around 1821. Only one species was included in the genus. Starting in 2000, other species were transferred to the Rohdea genus from the similar genera Campylandra, Gonioscypha, Tilcusta, and Tupistra. In 2024, there were at least 33 Rohdea species.

The plants grow in an elongated rosette with arching leaves. Their appearance and growing conditions are similar to those of aspidistra and hosta. They prefer shade with even moisture in rich soil but will tolerate dry shade, low water, and any soil. Feed them with a slow-release fertilizer initially. Once established, they only require top dressing with compost and are drought tolerant. The leaves will turn yellow with too much sun or extremely dry soil. They are easy to grow, but very slow growing and reach about 1’ tall by 2’ wide. They tolerate humidity, heat and verticillium wilt, and are deer and rabbit resistant. Propagation is by seed or division of the plant.

The translation of the Chinese word for Rohdea is “10,000 years green”. They are often given as a “good fortune” gift at housewarming, birthday, and new business parties. In Japan, they have container-grown Rohdea shows displaying showy foliage that can be variegated, patterned, or twisted. Since they are slow growers, they are expensive and usually not available from mass merchants. In the United States, it is usually the faster-growing ones that are available and have dark green leathery leaves and showy red fall/winter berries.

Sacred lilies can be grown as a specimen plant in a 3-gallon container or in a shade garden. They can be used in mass plantings under a tree or slope, along a walkway, at the front of a border, or in a rock or woodland garden.

Additional Rohdea images at Juniper Level Botanical Gardens

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: They can be infected by anthracnose fungus. You can cut the infected leaves at the base of the plant to control the spread of the fungus

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
R. japonica
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#slow growing#shade garden#showy leaves#low maintenance#winter interest#slopes#rabbit resistant#dappled shade#showy fruits#deer resistant#rock garden#evergreen groundcover#humidity tolerant#partial shade tolerant#container plant#shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
R. japonica
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#slow growing#shade garden#showy leaves#low maintenance#winter interest#slopes#rabbit resistant#dappled shade#showy fruits#deer resistant#rock garden#evergreen groundcover#humidity tolerant#partial shade tolerant#container plant#shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rohdea
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 10 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 7 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Erect
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The showy red or orange berries appear on 6" stalks in the fall and can persist over the winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are nestled in the base and usually hidden by the foliage. They are tightly clustered on a stem that looks like a squat, fat little corn cob.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Denticulate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    There is a variety of leaf patterns. They may be variegated, speckled, edged with white or yellow, or a central stripe. They can be narrow or twisted. The leaves are basal or on short stems. They are 7-23 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Fairy Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Heavy Shade
    Humidity
    Rabbits