Ophiopogon planiscapus 'nigrescens', or Black Mondo Grass, is an evergreen perennial that makes a great groundcover or edge plant for the border of a garden. Its strap-like leaves will reach 15 inches (37.5 cm) tall and leaves will be up to ¼ inch (6 mm) wide. The foliage starts out green and then quickly turns dark black. Plants spread by underground stolons with thick fleshy roots. They are hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
Blooming Time: In late summer to early fall, the plants bloom, forming white flowers with a pink flush ¼ inch (0.6 cm) flowers. Shiny black fruits follow flowers.
Culture: Ophiopogon planiscapus 'nigrescens' will grow in partial shade to full sun with a moist well-drained soil. In containers in the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. During the growing season the plants are kept moist for optimum growth and fertilized every other week with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Plants in containers do not seem to grow as fast as plants grown outside in the landscape. Repotting is done every other year for container grown plants. During the winter months, we move the plants to the cold rooms kept at 48°F (9°C). Water is restricted during this period to once a week and fertilizer is not used.
Propagation: Ophiopogon planiscapus 'nigrescens' is propagated by division of clumps in the spring.
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' was featured as Plant of the Week July 2-8, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.