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

 

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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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Pinus koraiensis • Korean Pine

Pinus • Pine • マツ • 松 • matsu

SJG • 8/4/15 -

SJG • 8/4/15 – – Pinus koraiensis • Korean Pine in Area O, East of the Kobe Lantern

We have 3 trees listed as ‘Korean Pine’ in Area O,  two of them, Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis, grow West of the Kobe lantern and seem to be Chinese white pines crossed with the Korean one (our Alpha lists describes them as ‘hybrid pines’), while the one described in this post, Pinus koraiensis (East of the Lantern), seem to be a true Korean Pine.

All three pines are approximately same size of 50′, and considering their fairly rare occurrence in our location*, their staged/group planting (the only one such types of  pines in our Garden – all three on the hill in area O, visible together from many viewing places elsewhere in the Garden), I wonder if they were originally planted 55 years ago by Mr. Iida and what he would think seeing them in their current mature state…

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SJG • 8/4/15 – Pinus koraiensis • Korean Pine in Area O, East of Kobe Lantern – note the upright growth habit

To add to confusion, USDA plant profile lists the tree’s name as: ‘Pinus koraiensis Siebold & Zucc.’  OR ‘Chinese pinenut’.  Well, both Chinese and Korean pines are sources of cooking pennants, so…

All 3 trees in our Garden  are long-needled,  light-colored green,  with large cones (although the true Korean pine has no cones this year), but their bark and growth habits differ: The Korean one has upright branches, while the hybrids have droopy/weeping branch pattern (the hybrids and their large cones were noticed by a recent visitor who inquired  about them, prompting the Korean pine posts).

SJG • 8/4/15 -

SJG • 8/4/15 – Pinus koraiensis • Korean Pine in Area O, East of Kobe Lantern – needles, up-close

* the only source I could find for them was Japanese Maples and Evergreens, which specializes in ‘rare and hard to find Japanese Maple Trees, conifers, evergreens, bamboo and wisteria’ – the nursery seem to be located in Vancouver, WA, but I only got their location by sleuthing the internet, as their website has no info on location.


From wikipedia:  […] The tree species Pinus koraiensis is commonly called Korean pine. It is native to eastern Asia: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, the Temperate rainforests of the Russian Far East, and central Japan. In the north of its range, it grows at moderate altitudes, typically 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 900 metres (3,000 ft), whereas further south, it is a mountain tree, growing at 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) to 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) altitude in Japan. It is a large tree, reaching a mature size of 40 metres (130 ft) to 50 metres (160 ft) height, and 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) to 2 metres (6.6 ft) trunk diameter.

It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves (‘needles’) are in fascicles (bundles) of five,[citation needed] with a deciduous sheath. They are 7 centimetres (2.8 in) to 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long. Korean pine cones are 8 centimetres (3.1 in) to 17 centimetres (6.7 in) long, green or purple before maturity, ripening brown about 18 months after pollination.[…]

From Missouri Botanical Garden: […] Pinus koraiensis […] Grow in moist, well-drained loams in full sun. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, including both sandy and clay soils. Avoid poorly-drained wet soils. These trees prefer cool summer climates. They generally dislike the heat and humidity of hot and humid summer locations such the St. Louis area. They are noted for having excellent tolerance for cold winter temperatures (winter hardy to USDA Zone 3). […] Although uncommonly planted, Korean pine grows well in groups, as a screen or as a single specimen. […]

Interesting tidbit from Temperate Climate Permaculture: […]Permaculture Plants: Pine Trees for Pine Nuts
Common Name: Pine Tree, Pinion, Piñon, Pinyon, Stone Pine, Nut Pine
Scientific Name: Pinus species
Family: Pinaceae (the Pine family)

Common Species: there are about 115 Pine species, but only about 20 of them are useful for nut production. I have 16 of them listed below, and the most important Nut Pines (largest nuts, highest producers, easily found for planting, etc.) are in bold:

Chinese White Pine (Pinus armandii) – Asia
Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana) – Asia
Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra)
Mexican Pinyon, Mexican Pine Nut, Mexican Stone Pine (Pinus cembroides)
Coulter Pine (Pinus coulteri)
Colorado Pinion/Pinyon/Piñon, Rocky Mountain Piñon (Pinus edulis)
Chilgoza Pine (Pinus gerardiana) – Asia (western Himalayas)
Korean Nut Pine, Chinese Nut Pine (Pinus koraiensis)
Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana) – North America
Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla) – North America
Italian Stone Pine, Umbrella Pine, Parasol Pine (Pinus pinea)
Siberian Dwarf Pine (Pinus pumila) – Asia
Parry Pinyon (Pinus quadrifolia) – North America
Gray Pine (Pinus sabineana) – North America
Siberian Pine (Pinus sibirica) – Asia
Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana) – North America […]

From Plants For A Future:  […] Pinus koraiensis – Siebold.&Zucc. • Medicinal Uses: […] The seed contains several medically active compounds and is analgesic, antibacterial and antiinflammatory. It is used in Korea in the treatment of earache, epistaxis and to promote milk flow in nursing mothers. The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. It is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers. The stem bark is used in the treatment of burns and skin ailments. […]

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Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis • Korean Pine

Pinus Pine マツ matsu

I was photographing some plant in the courtyard area of the Garden a few days ago when a visitor approached, asking for the name of the two ‘needle trees with a droopy, weeping growth habit and big cones by the lantern’,  in north part of the Garden (Area O, by Kobe lantern).  Well, I didn’t know the name, but we both looked through our Plant List booklet and decided it must be the Korean Pine.  I promised to take a look and a pic when I get closer to that side of the Garden and post about the tree here – so this post is for you, gentle inquiring visitor :).

Only when I got home and took a closer look at the Plant List, I noticed that there are actually three Korean Pines in that area: two ‘armandii x P. koraiensis’ and one plain ‘koraiensis’; because the simple ‘koraiensis’ is described as growing east of the lantern, I rather safely assumed (please set me straight if wrong, people on the Plant Group) that the two I want looking at, which both grow West of the lantern,  must be the ‘armndii x P’ ones.

SJG • 7/31/15 - Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis; Korean Pine, Area O

SJG • 7/31/15 – Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis; Korean Pine, Area O

SJG • 7/31/15 - Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis; Korean Pine, Area O - young, green cone

SJG • 7/31/15 – Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis; Korean Pine, Area O – young, green cone

SJG • 7/31/15 - Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis; Korean Pine, Area O - mature, brown cone

SJG • 7/31/15 – Pinus armandii x P. koraiensis; Korean Pine, Area O – mature, brown cone

The visitor also brought my attention to green fruit/seed pods (?) now covering Paulownia tomentosa tree in the courtyard (Area A), so look for updating that post shortly…

I couldn’t find anything exactly on p. armandii x P. koraiensis, so below entries for p. armandii and p. koraiensis – the ones we have must be some hybrid/cross between the two of them.  And, from the department of ‘your question finally answered’ just found out that Korean Pine is a source of the pine nuts – always wondered what kind of pine tree those tasty pesto sauce ingredient come from….

From wikipediaThe tree species Pinus koraiensis is commonly called Korean pine. It is native to eastern Asia: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, the Temperate rainforests of the Russian Far East, and central Japan. In the north of its range, it grows at moderate altitudes, typically 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 900 metres (3,000 ft), whereas further south, it is a mountain tree, growing at 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) to 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) altitude in Japan. It is a large tree, reaching a mature size of 40 metres (130 ft) to 50 metres (160 ft) height, and 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) to 2 metres (6.6 ft) trunk diameter.

It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves (‘needles’) are in fascicles (bundles) of five,[citation needed] with a deciduous sheath. They are 7 centimetres (2.8 in) to 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long. Korean pine cones are 8 centimetres (3.1 in) to 17 centimetres (6.7 in) long, green or purple before maturity, ripening brown about 18 months after pollination. The 14 millimetres (0.55 in) to 18 millimetres (0.71 in) long seeds have only a vestigial wing and are dispersed by Spotted Nutcrackers.
[…] The seeds are extensively harvested and sold as pine nuts, particularly in northeastern China; it is the most widely traded pine nut in international commerce. The nut oil contains 11.5% of the unusual fatty acid pinolenic acid. […]

From wikipedia: Pinus armandii (family Pinaceae), the Chinese white pine, is a species of pine native to China, occurring from southern Shanxi west to southern Gansu and south to Yunnan, with outlying populations in Anhui and Taiwan; it also extends a short distance into northern Burma. In Chinese it is known as “Mount Hua pine” (华山松).

It grows at 1,000-3,300 m altitude, with the lower altitudes mainly in the northern part of the range. It is a tree reaching 35 m (115 ft) height, with a trunk up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in diameter.

It is a member of the white pine group, Pinus subgenus Strobus, and like all members of that group, the leaves (‘needles’) are in fascicles (bundles) of five, with a deciduous sheath. They are 8–20 cm long. The cones are 9–22 cm long and 6–8 cm broad, with stout, thick scales. The seeds are large, 10–16 mm long and have only a vestigial wing; they are dispersed by spotted nutcrackers. […]

The tree, because of its evergreen foliage, is considered by the Chinese as an emblem of longevity and immortality. Its resin is considered an animated soul-substance, the counterpart of blood in men and animals. In ancient China, Taoist seekers of immortality consumed much of the tree’s resin, hoping thereby to prolong life. […]

Here is a fascinating 5 minutes video I found on the Korean Pine Trees:

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Clethra barbinervis – Ryobu: The Beauty of Bark (article)

Clethra Summersweet リョウブ 令法 ryōbu

Clethra barbinervis (in Japanese, ryobu) has several common names: Japanese Clethra, Tree Clethra, and Japanese Summersweet. We have one plant, easily overlooked, in Area F of the Japanese Garden. Native to Japan, it grows in southern Hokkaido, on hills and mountains. . Traditionally, its wood was used for construction and tool-making.

Dan Hinkley, the noted plant explorer and former long-time owner of Heronswood Nursery, describes it as:

“A wonderful and rarely planted shrub with late summer panicles of drooping white flowers and orange-red autumn color, in fact, one of the best autumn-coloring shrubs in the garden. My observations of mature stands of this species in its native haunts of Japan have brought to my realization the profound beauty of this species’ exfoliating bark.”

This is a deciduous tree or large shrub that grows quickly when young, and reaches 30 feet tall at maturity in its native woodlands. In cultivation in the U.S., mature height is about 20 feet. Small, white, fragrant flowers are held in racemes (stalks including many small flowers) at the tips of branches, usually in July, and are followed by persistent spikes of seed capsules. Dark green, obovate (egg-shaped & narrower at the base), sharply toothed leaves are also clustered at the tips of branches. Fall color is variable, and likely to be best with some sun.

The most spectacular aspect of Japanese Clethra is its smooth, polished, gray and brown exfoliating bark. According to some growers, its beauty rivals that of Stewartia pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia).

Among the plant attributes most valued in Japanese Gardens, attractive bark ranks along with leaf shapes and colors, plant growth habits (natural and achieved by pruning), and nature’s many shades of green. In Japan flowers are valued as much for their transience as for their beauty – unlike in the United States, where gardening traditions value flowers above all else.

Clethra barbinervis grows best in light shade, in acid, moist, well-drained and fertile soil. In Japan, it’s one of the first trees to recolonize cleared woodlands.

Although still a rare plant in American gardens, Japanese Clethra is available for purchase from some mail-order and retail nurseries.

CK

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Rhododendron indicum ‘Myogi’ • Azalea

Rhododendron • Rhododendron / Azalea • シャクナゲ / ツツジ • 石楠花 / 躑躅 • shakunage / tsutsuji

Apparently, we only have two ‘Myogi’ azaleas, growing in a longish clump in Area B, along the connector path. The Plant List specifies that them as 2 feet tall, corolla white, but their time of bloom eluded me for a number of years. Turns out ‘Myogi’ is a fairly late bloomer, this year mid-June, and seen ‘in person’ it exhibits small pink sections on its overall white flowers.

To be fair, our Garden has a number of late blooming azaleas: swamp azalea, ‘Jindai’, ‘Gosho-Zakura, sweet azalea, ‘Macrantha and ‘Guarda Joy’, but the main rhodie/azalea bloom-time is over, and the Korean Dogwood and Japanese Snowbell trees steal most of the attention with their showy blossoms, and irises and water lilies draw people’s gazes toward the pond.

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SJG • 6/14/15 Rhododendron indicum ‘Myogi’ • Azalea, Area B, along connector path

SJG • 6/14/15 Rhododendron indicum 'Myogi' • Azalea, Area B, FLOWER, note the tiny pink section

SJG • 6/14/15 Rhododendron indicum ‘Myogi’ • Azalea, Area B, FLOWER, note the tiny pink section

Azalea Society of America lists it as: […]Very compact. White with few tiny flakes of purplish-pink. Single with ruffled, irregular lobes; 2 ½-3”[…], which is exactly how our ‘Myogi’ looks like, although the link to backyard gardener (below) calls the color ‘pale pink’ – maybe it is not exactly the same plant?

From Backyard Gardener: […] Rhododendron hybrida ( Myogi Satsuki Azalea ): This Japanese azalea is a hybridization between Rhododendron indicum and Rhododendron simsii and has a compact, low, spreading to rounded form that is twiggy and dense. Even the leaves are notably smaller, making it the wonderful bonzai plant that it was originally bred to be. Myogi has single, pale pink flowers with deep pink streaks that bloom in late spring. Plant as you would any of the other azaleas: high and in well-drained, acid soil, rich with organic matter. This is a front of the border azalea because of its lower height. Perfect for the smaller garden. Satsukis seem to be able to handle a little more sunlight than most azaleas, but this does not mean “hot” sun. Filtered light is still best. The Satsuki are often pruned in the the Japanese garden. […]

Here is wikipedia entry on satsuki/indicum name: […] Satsuki azalea is a Cultivar Group of azaleas extensively cultivated by the Japanese. The botanical name is Rhododendron indicum. Native to the mountains of Japan, it has since spread to more diverse regions. […] Satsuki azaleas have a diverse range of flower forms and color patterns with multiple patterns often appearing on a single plant. Satsuki bloom from May to June; the name “Satsuki” in Japanese is reference to their blooming period, the fifth month of the Asian lunar calendar. […]

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