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Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrescens


Black mondo

Unusual 'black' leaves

Perhaps the blackest plant of all forming a low growing clump of slender, strap like softly shining back leaves. Growing to only 15cm (6ins) in height it spreads by underground runners which throw up additional “black spiders” around the parent plant. Short black stems produce inconspicuous mauve-white summer flowers which develop into round black berries. Although slow initially it gradually makes an excellent ground cover plant in any garden.


Ideally plant in full sun or partial shade; shade tolerant. Use at the front of beds and borders, with grasses, spring bulbs or heucheras. Great for pots and containers, around paving or in gravel.


Grows in any well-drained fertile soil but prefers neutral to acid conditions. Remove dead leaves as required. Can be divided and replanted as necessary. 

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Perennial
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Flowering June - August
Evergreen Yes
Plant height 10 cm - 50 cm
Plant width 10 cm - 50 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 50 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H5

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Clay, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds, Patio container, Garden edging, City garden, Courtyard garden, Banks and slopes, Coastal or drought resistant, Rock garden

Typically available

From April to September