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Ophiopogon japonicus

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
oh-fee-oh-POH-gon jah-PON-ih-kus
Description

Ophiopogon japonicus is a highly salt tolerant evergreen groundcover that grows up to 1' tall, is grasslike, and has a dwarf form that forms a mound. Its leaves are finer than Liriope spp., however these two species have similar forms. This evergreen groundcover forms a mat by runners. This plant is a turf alternative for shady areas and should be mowed yearly. Dwarf selections are slow-growing and are utilized with water, rocks, block cylinders, slopes, edging beds, model railroading, and in interior pot plants to show off the ornamental, translucent blue fruits that are hidden in the foliage. This plant prefers shade and moist, well-drained soils. It is sun tolerant and relatively pest-free, but foliage can be disfigured by slugs.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are very narrow and less than an inch wide
  • Inflorescence is hidden and the peduncle is flattened
  • Fruits are cobalt blue
  • Grass-like groundcover, mounding, stoloniferous
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#blue#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#moist soil#cpp#well-drained soil#deer resistant#blue berries#sunshine#grass like#fantz#berry#groundcovers that can be mowed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#blue#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#moist soil#cpp#well-drained soil#deer resistant#blue berries#sunshine#grass like#fantz#berry#groundcovers that can be mowed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ophiopogon
    Species:
    japonicus
    Family:
    Ruscaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Mondo grass is resistant to damage by deer, and is highly salt tolerant.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a globose berry, opalescent or metallic blue in color, less than an inch in diameter, and are hidden in the foliage.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are few, nodding, pale lilac to white, and hang loosely on a raceme. Raceme's are short (2-4" long), flattened, and are hidden in foliage. Rachis are lateral on the flattened peduncle. Flowers bloom in the summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are simple, entire, linear, grass-like, erect arching apically, are dark green, and grow up to 16" long and less than an inch wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems have lateral underground stolons that terminate in daughter plants and are mat-forming by runners.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Walkways
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Insect Pests
    Salt