Dwarf Mondo Grass

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Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is a beautiful clumping dark grass that typically grows anywhere from four- to six-inches tall; the variety Nana grows just three-inches tall. An ornamental grass ideal for low traffic plantings, rather than a grass you might use to create a lawn, Dwarf Mondo is also known as Dwarf Lilyturf, Mondo Grass Dwarf and Monkey Grass.

Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon sp.) is native to Korea and Japan, is not actually a grass but a lily. This perennial evergreen grows in dense, slowly spreading clumps, preferring average, medium wet, well-drained soil in filtered sun to full shade — it is intolerant of full sun. It spreads by underground stems or tubers and can be easily propagated by division.

Dwarf Mondo is hardy and will tolerate extreme dry conditions like those seen in Davis and is still frost tolerant to -15°C. The leaves of Dwarf Mondo are somewhat finer than seen in other species and any blooms are hidden. Giant Mondo (O. jaburan has longer, broader leaves and the flowering stems can be up to 60cm (2') long — it is more clump-forming, tolerates only light frosts and has a weeping habit. Black Mondo (O. planiscapus "Nigrescens") has purple-black strap like leaves.

To learn about other plants found in Davis, visit our Town Flora.

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