En esta ocasión nos ocuparemos de una planta de porte herbáceo, denominada Ophiopogon japonicus, característica del jardín japonés y que al ser poco llamativa pasa desapercibida en muchas ocasiones al visitante. Existe una planta del mismo género, el ophiopogon negro (Ophiopogon planiscapus), que aunque algo parecida como veremos en un próximo post presenta importantes diferencias con Ophiopogon japonicus.
Japanese Garden Plants: Mondo grass
On this occasion we will deal herbaceous plant called Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus), Japanese garden feature that being inconspicuous often goes unnoticed visitors. There is a plant of the same genus, Ophiopogon planiscapus that although somewhat similar as we will see in a future post presents important differences with Ophiopogon japonicus.
Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus), called in Japanese ryu-no-hige, ジャノヒゲ (蛇の髭) is an evergreen native to Japan, although very abundant also in China and Korea. It is a small plant of 20-30 cm height and 40-50 cm width. A plant with abundant green leaves linear, narrow perennial 20-40 cm long. Its Japanese name, ryu-no-hige “Dragon Beard” refers to it. It has flowers white to light pink or pale lilac produced as a short cluster on a stalk 5-10 cm in late summer. The fruits are shaped porcelain blue berry 5 mm in diameter. The seeds are small and dispersed from mid autumn. The seeds are toxic.
Several cultivars have been selected, including “Albus” (white flowers), “compactus” and “Kyoto Dwarf” (dwarf forms, of no more than 4-5 cm in height),”Silver Mist” (varied with white stripes in the leaves) and Kijimafukiduma (silver).
Mondo grass prefers sites in shade or partial shade, suffering burns if exposed leaf in the midday sun. In a cool place also adapts to the midday sun. It develops on any type of soil, including calcareous, always well drained. Supports very cold environments, withstanding temperatures of -20 °C. It multiplies by division very easily kill in spring and with during autumn.