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Ornamental Grasses: Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Botanical name: Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Common name: Grass, Black Mondo

also known as (Black Lilyturf, Snake Beard)

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created by:
chief cultivator

Mercer island, Wa

at a glance

Soil: damp, acidic, sand
Zones: 6a thru 10b


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description for "Ornamental Grasses: Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'"

Black Mondo Grass is also known as Black Lilyturf or Snake Beard. The botanical name comes from the Greek ophis (a snake) and pogon (a beard). A Japanese native with black foliage. When people see this plant, they say "cool" or "wow!" It really is a neat looking plant. Emphasis should be placed on highlighting the attractive foliage, so plant with contrasting colors. An example would be to plant it with small, yellow-leaved hostas and delicate ferns or under planted with Lysimachia Nummularia 'Aurea'. Grow as a grass-like ground cover, for border edging, in a rock garden or in containers. A slowly spreading rhizomatous perennial that forms grass-like clumps. The plant is not a grass, but a lily closely allied to lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria). The leaves can be up to 10 inches long. New leaves are green but they soon turn to black. The flower spikes rise above the foliage carrying loose, spike-like clusters of bell-shaped pink flowers in summer that are followed by black fruit. Plants do best in moist but well drained soil that is slightly acidic. Full sun to partial shade is recommended, but part shade is probably the best place for it to keep its unique coloring. Sometimes listed as Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Arabicus', 'Ebony Night', or 'Black Dragon'.

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