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ornamental grass

Snake's Beard

Ophiopogon japonicus

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Snake's Beard (Ophiopogon japonicus) at Valley View Farms

Snake's Beard

Snake's Beard

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Snake's Beard (Ophiopogon japonicus) at Valley View Farms

Snake's Beard foliage

Snake's Beard foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Snake's Beard (Ophiopogon japonicus) at Valley View Farms

Snake's Beard

Snake's Beard

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  6 inches

Flower Height:  8 inches

Spacing:  8 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Mondo Grass

Description:

This slowly spreading dwarf forms clumps of narrow dark-green foliage; it has bell-shaped, pale lilac to white flowers in summer, followed by bright, sky-blue berries; striking when massed along borders; not actually a grass but closely related to lilies

Ornamental Features

Snake's Beard features dainty spikes of lilac purple bell-shaped flowers rising above the foliage from mid to late summer. Its attractive grassy leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year. It produces sky blue berries from early to mid fall.

Landscape Attributes

Snake's Beard is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial grass with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Snake's Beard is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Snake's Beard will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity extending to 8 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 8 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Snake's Beard is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features
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