Black Mondo Grass
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Niger'
Black Mondo Grass in bloom
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 15 inches
Spacing: 9 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4b
Other Names: syn. Ophiopogon nigrescens, Black Dragon
Noted for its slowly spreading clumps of narrow leaves that appear black, bell shaped pink flowers in summer; striking when massed along borders; not actually a grass, being more closely related to lilies
Black Mondo Grass features dainty nodding shell pink bell-shaped flowers with white overtones rising above the foliage from mid to late summer. Its attractive grassy leaves remain black in color throughout the season.
Black Mondo Grass is a dense herbaceous perennial grass with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Black Mondo Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Black Mondo Grass will grow to be about 15 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 9 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Black Mondo Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our experts for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.