Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ • Dwarf mondo grass, Fountain plant, Monkey 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

(Text prepared for August 2016 cont. ed. class for docents by U86 Plant Committee)

Dwarf mondo grass grows in areas A, B, C.

Dwarf Mondo grass has 4-6 ̋ strap- like green leaves in a dense clump forming an evergreen ground cover that spreads slowly. The light lilac flowers, followed by blue berries, are mostly hidden by the foliage.

The plant is sensitive to cold and slow to establish. O. japaonicus is native to Japan. The name Ophiopogon means “ophis” = snake and “pogon” = beard.

It is a Chinese cardinal herb for yin deficiency. The tuberous root is ground into flour that is edible, and used in Chinese medicine. It nourishes the yin of the stomach, spleen, heart and lungs and clears heat and quiets irritability.

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SJG • 5/26/16 – Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ in Area C – clumps of newly planted in front of the bench; spread and established form to the right of bench

 

DwarfMondoC

SJG • 5/26/16 – Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’ in Area C – newly planted clump.

From Dave’s Garden: “[…] Dwarf Mondo Grass, Monkey Grass ‘Nana’

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Ophiopogon (oh-fee-oh-POH-gon) (Info)
Species: japonicus (juh-PON-ih-kus) (Info)
Cultivar: Nana
Synonym: Convallaria graminifolia
Synonym: Convallaria japonica
Synonym: Flueggea anceps
Synonym: Flueggea japonica
Synonym: Liriope gracilis […]”

From Learn2Grow:  “[…] Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is a member of the lily family and is closely related to its more familiar cousin, Liriope. But mondo grass resembles Liriope about as much as the average Japanese citizen resembles a sumo wrestler. Everything about Ophiopogon is about one-third the size of the typical Liriope – with the common mondo grass reaching just 6-8 inches tall and leaves measuring only about a quarter inch wide. And dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nanus’) is even smaller – just one-third the size of the typical mondo, only reaching 2 inches tall. […]”

 

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