Plant Description

Ophiopogon japonicus

Mondo grass growing with Dietes robinsoniana

Ordinary mondo grass is ubiquitous these days but it can be a very useful little plant to form cushiony clumps, a groundcover or a garden edge, especially in part-shade, though it will also grow in sun. It is a spreading, tuberous-rooted, rhizomatous perennial, with slim, strap-shaped foliage, dark green in colour, growing in curved tufts up to 30 cm tall. It will grow in dry spots but will spread more quickly if given a reasonable amount of water. There is a miniature version, 'Nanus', growing only 10 cm tall, which can be used to grow between pavers or stepping stones.

It is necessary to keep an eye on mondo grass to make sure it isn't growing beyond the area you want to confine it to. It has pale purple bell-shaped flowers in summer, though these are not showy. The flowers may be followed by bright blue fruits. Propagation is by division. It needs no special treatment but can be fertilised in late winter. The plant hails from Japan. It is frost hardy. Opinion varied as to whether this plant belongs to the Convallariaceae or Liliaceae family but it is now classified as part of the family Asparagaceae.


Ophiopogon japonicus
Flowers in December.
Plant Family: Asparagaceae