Create an ideabook for your next remodeling project!
Browse more than 1,500,000 photos from top designers and save your favorites
Botanical name: Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Arabicus’; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Black Night’
Common names: black mondo grass, black lilyturf
USDA zones: 5-10
Water requirement: Moderate to regular, depending on climate
Sun requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 12” tall x 12” spread
Distinguishing traits. Striking matte black foliage resembling a sea anemone immediately catches your eye and draws you into the plant. Droopy leaves reach 15" in length, resulting in an overall plant height of up to 10-12". While the grass is somewhat clumping and spreading, overall it will only grow to about 12” in diameter.
Evergreen in temperate climates, black mondo provides year-round interest. In early spring new growth emerges in a dark green, quickly transitioning to its standard black. Summer brings minuscule bell-shaped pink, white or lavender flowers which then give way to bluish black berries lasting well into winter.
Unlike many grasses, black mondo can successfully grow in the shade. Whether planted under an enormous spreading tree or beside a massive boulder, black mondo can serves as a textural contrast to basically any plant or landscape design element out there — particularly lighter foliage colors in a bold chartreuse or deep red.
Before you plant. Black mondo is a low-maintenance, cold-hardy and pest-free plant. Plant spring through fall 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 plants:
Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass | Red Kangaroo Paw
Blue Chalk Sticks | Catmint | Slipper Plant
Great design trees:
Japanese Maple | Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Bald Cypress | Tree Aloe