Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens', is a stunning cultivar with deep purple-black strap-like leaves turning jet black in full sun. Although slow growing it gradually spreads by its underground stolons to form a low ground-covering mat which has a dramatic visual impact whether on its own or planted in combination with other species. Its intensely dark colouration lends itself as a background to a large number of imaginative design possibilities and looks particularly good when combined with contrasting silver or yellow foliage or with the lacy foliage of ferns. If planted in a raised bed, the extraordinary colour and leathery texture of its leaves can be appreciated closer at hand. It enjoys a rich organic well-drained soil that is slightly acidic and kept moist.
The green-leaved type species which is native to Japan, is found in wooded areas, forest floors and forest margins to an elevation of 1000 metres. Ophiopogon is not a true grass and under the APG III system this genus is now in the the sub-family Nolinoideae along with its close relative, Liriope.
|Synonyms||Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Arabicus', Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Black Dragon', Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Ebony Knight', Mondo planiscapum, Ophiopogon planiscapus f. leucanthus, Ophiopogon wallichianus var. leucanthus|
|Geographical Origin||Horticultural origin, type species from Japan|
|Cultivation||Full sun or partial shade. Rich slightly acidic soil, well drained but moist|
|Eventual Height||20 cm|
|Eventual Spread||Slowly spreading by underground stolons: 60 cm|
|Hardiness||Hardy in the UK, down to at least -14C|
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