Rohdea is a genus of native to eastern Asia (China, Japan, the Himalayas and Indochina). It was long thought to contain only a single species, R. japonica, but recent studies have resulted in several other taxa being transferred into the genus. Common names include Nippon Lily, Sacred Lily, and Japanese Sacred Lily.
It is a rhizomatousherbaceousperennial plant, with fibrous roots. The leaves are evergreen, broad lanceolate, 15-50 cm long and 2.5-7 cm broad, with an acute apex. The flowers are produced in a short, stout, dense spike 3-4 cm long, each flower pale yellowish, 4-5 mm long. The fruit is a red berry 8 mm diameter, produced in a tight cluster of several together.
Although sometimes misspelled as Rhodea, the genus was actually named after Michael Rohde (1782-1812), a botanist from Bremen.
It is cultivated as an ornamental plant. In Chinese it is called wan nian qing (simplified: 万年青; traditional: 萬年青; lit. "evergreen"), and for this reason has been used symbolically in visual culture (eg on Mao badges). In Japanese it is called omoto.
^Tanaka, N. (2010). A taxonomic revision of the genus Rohdea (Asparagaceae). Makinoa , n.s., 9: 1-54.
^Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update. Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
^Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009), "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society161 (2): 132–136, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x