Ophiopogon planiscapus

Attractive, low-growing grass-like evergreens, useful for all-year-round ground cover. This tough slow-spreading plant is not actually a grass at all but a strappy-leaved hardy perennial, ideal for low maintenance gardens.

Family: Asparagaceae
Botanical Name: Ophiopogon
Common Names: Mondo grass, Black Dragon Grass, Black Lilyturf

Foliage: Clumps of dark green, narrow, strap-like leaves. Evergreen.

Flowers: Short spikes of bell-shaped white, purple or purplish pink flowers, followed by dark berries.

Flowering Period: Mid-summer.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (clay, sand or loam). Acid or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun or part shade. Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect.

Habit: Tufted, clump forming.

Type: Perennial.


Hardiness: Moderately hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Ophiopogon

Plant in the spring, in a fertile well drained but moist, humus rich soil. Prefers a sheltered, lightly shaded site. Not suitable for chalky soils.

Easy to grow. Ideal for gravel gardens, containers, path edges or front of the border. Naturalises well and provides a good contrast with other low growing plants.

Taking Care of Ophiopogon

Needs very little care and attention once established. Mulch around the plants with leaf mould in autumn.

Pruning Ophiopogon

Not necessary.

Pests and Diseases

Generally trouble free. Slugs may attack young growth.

Propagating Ophiopogon

Lift and divide in the spring. Replant immediately.

Varieties of Ophiopogon

Ophiopogon jaburan is a clump-forming grass-like perennial with whitish flowers and violet-blue berries. Height and spread to 2ft (60cm).

Ophiopogon japonicus (mondo erase) is good for carpeting. Height to 12in (30cm), spread 18in (45cm).

Ophiopogon planiscapus has white or purplish-pink flowers. Height and spread up to 2ft (60cm). The popular variety 'Nigrescens' is low growing with purple-black leaves and white to violet/mauve flowers. Height and spread 1ft (30cm) or more. For sale at Van Meuwen.