From East and Southeast Asia the plants commonly known as Lily-turf have had a long and tortuous classification
history having at times been in the Amaryllidaceae, Convallariaceae, Haemodoraceae, Liliaceae, Ruscaceae
and Smilacaceae families and numerous genera including Convallaria, Liriope, Mondo and Ophiopogon.
The main problem has been the similarity of plants now classified in the Liriope and Ophiopogon genera.
Liriope and Ophiopogon have often been combined into one group known as liriopogons.
Liriopes are now in subfamily Nolinoideae of the Asparagaceae family.
The vegetative characteristics of both genera are basically the same.
The erect Liriope flowers have a flat to cup-like corolla, a superior ovary and stamens with long filaments holding free
anthers with an apical opening.
Ophiopogon have nodding flowers with bell-shaped corollas and a partly inferior ovary.
Their stamens have almost no filament and the anthers, fused into a column open through longitudinal slits.
There are 5 to 8 (11) species of these evergreen perennial clump-forming, grass-like plants.
They may have dense fibrous roots sometimes with fleshy tubers on them.
There may also be underground stems or rhizomes with new plants growing from the nodes.
Rounded clumps are up to about 50 cm high and nearly as wide.
The dense erect and arching leaves, up to 55 (65) cm long and under 2 cm wide all arise from the base of the plant.
Leaves are a shiny dark green with parallel veins typical of Monocots.
They may be smooth or have minute teeth on the edges.
Flower spikes are a leafless stalk or scape that arises from the base of the clump.
The scape continues as the peduncle with small clusters of flowers, on pedicels along it.
There are small triangular bracts at the base of the pedicels.
Tepals can be deep or pale mauve, lavender, purple or white.
There are 6 stamens having anthers with 2 sacs that open through an apical pore.
The superior ovary has a single style and stigma.
The fruit are roughly spherical berries with a fleshy layer around the single seed.
Berries mature from green to black.