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|Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' Syn. 'Kokuryu'|
|Lilyturf, Ornamental Black Grass, Black mondo grass|
|Although, true to its common name, this evergreen plant is both ornamental and black, it is not a grass! It forms clumps of glossy, purple-black leaves (some may occasionally be dark-green), with spikes of pale purplish-pink flowers in autumn, followed by glossy black berries. It grows only about 6 inches high and works well at the front of the border, either planted in a row for a more formal effect or dotted around where there's space. Makes a wonderful contrast with light-green and variegated plants.
NOTE: Plants, when available, are usually sourced to order from the garden and sometimes there is more than one off-shoot to a root system. There may be variable amounts of root and/or top growth, but this is not a fussy plant and all will thrive and spread happily if given the usual care when planting.
|Sowing and/or growing instructions|
|Sow on the surface of moist seed compost, just covering with a sprinkling of fine vermiculite. Do not exclude light, which can aid germination. Place in a propagator at 20C/69F. If germination does not occur within a month, place the pot in a plastic bag and refrigerate at 5C/40F for 3-4 weeks, then return to the propagator. Germination is naturally erratic and may take between 30-150 days. Pot seedlings on individually, growing on in a cold frame until large enough to plant outdoors, where they will prefer non-alkaline soil in sun or part shade. Split plants in spring if they become crowded. Plants grown from seed may occasionally vary in colour, the foliage being more dark-green than black.|