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Products > Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' - Black Mondo Grass

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Liliaceae (Lilies)
Origin: Japan (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Light Lavender
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [O. 'Arabicus', O. planiscapus 'Kokuryu']
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' (Black Mondo Grass) - A slow growing evergreen perennial with black grass-like leaves. It can grow to 8 inches tall by 1 foot wide with individual leaves 10 inches long and less than 1/4 inch wide with new growth very dark green towards the base of the leaves and darkening towards the tips to become one the blackest plants that we know of. Clusters of spikes on which whitish lilac flowers appear in summer and are often followed by dark, nearly black berries in fall. Best in part sun or light shade, with regular watering. Hardy at least to USDA Zone 6a (-10F) Great for a groundcover or in containers - very slow growing. According to the International Liriope and Ophiopogon Cultivar Register this plant should not be called by by the Latinized cultivars names 'Nigrescens' or 'Arabicus' since the naming conventions set down in The International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) prohibited this use for any cultivar name use after 1958. The name the is International Liriope and Ophiopogon Cultivar Register recommends be used is Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Kokuryu' it was introduced into cultivation in the US from Japan under the name Liriope 'Kokuryu' by R.E Perdue of the USDA in 1959 who obtained it from Nakada Nursery in Angyo, Japan but there is a certain amount of disagreement about the correct name for the plant. Some consider the species Ophiopogon planiscapus to naturally have black foliage and simply list this plant as a species. It is also sometimes listed as 'Black Dragon', 'Ebony Knight' or 'Arabicus'. The oldest name we have found in usage in is Ophiopogon arabicus as a plant accessioned by the Huntington Botanic Garden in 1956 that came from Jimmy Giridlian's Oakhurst Garden but this illegitimate use of "arabicus" as a specific name likely disqualifies it as a cultivar name. The cultivar name 'Nigrescens' however was used for another plant the Huntington received from Oakhurst Garden in 1957, accessioned as HBG#25997, which would have been before the ICNCP 1958 ruling prohibiting the use of Latinized names. In the 1976 Hortus III: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada, compiled by the Liberty Hyde Baily Hortorium at Cornell University, this plant is listed as Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Arabicus' but in the 1994 Index of Garden Plants by The Royal Horticultural Society it is listed as Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'. We also have a thin smaller leaf form that we call Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Teague's Black' The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in the nursery, in the nursery's garden, and in other gardens where it has been observed. We also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing  Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'.