In the soul of Black Friday, one of the most highly anticipated unofficial American holidays, this week’s plant select features — you guessed it — a black plant. Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’) has gained fame as one of the most uniquely-hued and easy-to-grow plants on the market.
Much like many perennial grasses, autumn is a great time to plant black mondo grass. Elect for well-drained, humus-rich soil for a positive planting.
Botanical name: Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Arabicus’; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Black Night’
Common names: black mondo grass, black lilyturf
USDA zones: 5-10
Water necessity: Moderate to regular, based on climate
Sun necessity: Full sun to partial shade
Mature dimensions:12″ tall x 12″ disperse
Distinguishing attributes. Striking matte black foliage resembling a sea anemone immediately catches your attention and draws you to the plant. Droopy leaves reach 15″ in length, leading to an overall plant height of around 10-12″. While the grass is slightly clumping and spreading, general it will only grow to about 12″ in diameter.
Evergreen in temperate climates, black mondo provides year-round interest. Initially spring new growth emerges in a dark green, quickly transitioning to its regular black. Summer brings amazing bell-shaped pink, white or lavender flowers which then give way to bluish black berries lasting well into winter.
How to utilize it. Volume plant black mondo grass or utilize it as a planter accent, along a path, or in a stone garden.
Unlike many grasses, black mondo can grow in the shade. Whether planted under an enormous spreading tree or with a massive boulder, black mondo can serves as a textural contrast to essentially any plant or landscape design element out there — especially lighter foliage colors in a bold chartreuse or deep red.
Charles McClure – Professional Site Planning
Before you plant. Black mondo is a low-maintenance, cold-hardy and pest-free plant. Plant spring through autumn in rich, well-drained soils with medium moisture. As a slow-growing and non-spreading perennial grass, it may take longer for beds to fill out than with other mondo grass varieties.
More great design crops:
Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass | Red Kangaroo Paw
Blue Chalk Sticks | Catmint | Slipper Plant
Amazing design trees:
Japanese Maple | Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Bald Cypress | Tree Aloe