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Products > Ophiopogon umbraticola
Ophiopogon umbraticola - National Arboretum Mondo Grass
Image of Ophiopogon umbraticola
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Liliaceae (Lilies)
Origin: China (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Light Lavender
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Ophiopogon chingii, Hort.]
Height: <1 foot
Width: Clumping
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Ophiopogon umbraticola (National Arboretum Mondo Grass) - A dense evergreen, low-growing slowly spreading fine textured grass-like plant 4 to 6 inches tall with 6 to 10 inch long dark green very narrow (1/8") leaves are erect and then bend over. The small mauve tinged white flowers in small clusters along a short inflorescence in summer are followed by large blue berries in fall which are attractive when found hidden under the foliage. It is slowly spreading via short rhizomes so acts more like a clumping plant than one such as Ophiopogon clarkia that spreads around with a more open habit. Grows in full or part coastal sun to light shade with regular to occasional watering. This plant is quite hardy and can be used where other Ophiopogon might freeze (below 0F) and useful in zones USDA 7-10. This plant comes from China (Northern Guangdong, Northeast Guizhou, Jiangxi, Southeast Sichuan) where it grows in forest and among scrubs along cliffs and stream sides in moist and shady places areas from 2,300 to 3,300 feet. This plant is much finer textured than the typical Ophiopogon japonicus sold in the trade and there both the solid green form and a variegated form. It originated from plants at the United States National Arboretum in Washington, DC where it was originally accessioned incorrectly as Ophiopogon chingii, a valid name for a stoloniferous plant with much wider leaves (3/4 inch wide) that also comes from China. It has also been sold as Ophiopogon graminifolius, a name considered synonymous with Liriope graminifolius. Our thanks go out to John Greenlee and Tony Avent for their help sorting out the proper name for this plant and to Lawrence Lee of Plantopia Nursery who in 1996 gave us a variegated form of this plant and noted that it came from the US National Arboretum. 

This information about Ophiopogon umbraticola displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.