Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nigrescens’ • Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon  • Mondo Grass  •  ジャノヒゲ/リュウノヒゲ  •  蛇髯/龍髯
•  ja-no-hige/ryū-no-hige

Last weekend  noticed the black mondo grass blooming in dainty,  lavender colored and bell-shaped flowers at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island;  made a mental note to check the one in our Garden immediately.

Alas, unlike the Blodel Reserve mondo growing in shady areas, SJG’s black mondo  (planted fairly recently) grows in full sun on the berm in the courtyard area, and was almost done blooming – I caught just a few single last blossoms among many that already went to fruit…


SJG • 7/29/13 – Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nigrescens’ • Black Mondo Grass growing in clumps in Area A (courtyard at the Garden entrance)


SJG • 7/29/13 – Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nigrescens’ • Black Mondo Grass growing in clumps in Area A (courtyard at the Garden entrance) – FLOWERS

From The Garden Helper:  Mondo Grass and Black Mondo Grass are actually not even grasses.  At one point in time, they were classified as being in the Liriope family until the plant name gods realized they are actually lilies that are closely related to the Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) and gave them the designation of Ophiopogon. Their berries each bear a single seed. […]

From wikipedia: Ophiopogon planiscapus is a species of flowering plant in the family Asparagaceae. It is a small evergreen perennial growing to 20 cm (8 in) tall by 30 cm (12 in) wide. It grows from short rhizomes, and bears tufts of grasslike leaves, from which purple or white flowers emerge in racemes held on short stems above the leaves. It is native to Japan, where it grows on open and forested slopes […]

The cultivar ‘Nigrescens’ (black mondo or black lilyturf) is grown as groundcover. Its leaves turn from green to dark purple (black) and can grow to 8 in (203 mm) tall and 1/4 inch wide. The flowers are white to pale lilac. This plant is commonly used in rock gardens or raised beds as an ornamental plant; owing to its dwarf qualities it can be lost in borders.[4] It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
There is also a variegated form ‘Little Tabby’. This is green with white borders to the leaves. […]

From Scottish Rock Garden Club:  […] Native to Japan, it is found in the wild on low hills in scrub and woodland. This black leaved form is the one most frequently grown in Scotland, although there are forms with dark green leaves and other with variegated leaves. […]


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