Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Black Mondo Grass + butoh 8/10

by aleks
It's not even a grass, and I had no idea it can bloom. Depending whom you ask it is a black lilyturf in the family Asparagaceae, once classified as being in the Liriope family until the plant name gods realized they are actually lilies that are closely related to the Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) and gave them the designation of Ophiopogon.

Anyway, I spotted them blooming in the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island last weekend - dainty, bell-shaped lavender blossoms. I didn't have my camera but thought not to worry - they'll be waiting form me the next day in SJG. When I asked Mary about them she waived her hand, in kind of 'last year's news' fashion: oh, she saw them blooming a week ago or so, prolly well over now... :(

SJG • 7/29/13 – Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nigrescens’ • Black Mondo Grass
growing in clumps in Area A (courtyard at the Garden entrance)

It made me run to the courtyard and look:  ooops, except for a few single stalks they were all GONE, GONE, GONE! My sorry pics of the event above and below...  They are advertised to grow well in sunny areas, but in fact thrive in partial shade and last there longer: Bloedel Reserve has them in semi-shade, SJG has them on sunny berm in the area A.

SJG • 7/29/13 – Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nigrescens’ • Black Mondo Grass
growing in clumps in Area A (courtyard at the Garden entrance) – FLOWERS

Bye, bye - black mondo grass flowers. Lynnda says her daughter grows them in shady area of her garden and they are not even blooming in her yard yet  - so forward look to our photo-cheating and lying soon, when she gets a better photo than the one above.

• • • 
Butoh reminder: Joan's Kogut-butoh group will give us an annual Wandering and Wondering butoh performance on Saturday, August 10, 2013  2-5 pm, in Seattle Japanese Garden.

bonus pic from 7/29/13 - from ferry Bainbridge-Seattle,
where i thought to post about SJG's mondo grass


  1. Black mondo grass at our house has mostly finished blooming, and is setting berries which will turn from glossy green to black. It spreads slowly by underground stem; and is easy to get more plants by simple division. Those divisions may take a season or two to bloom. However, if exposure is part shade and soil is not too dry and poor, the divisions will thrive and bloom earlier.

    Curiously this past year at our house a single tuft of black mondo grass grew to full height in a yellow-green color---a departure from its parent genes.

    On the topic of Ophiopogon, visitors to the SJG often are intrigued by the O. japonicas 'nana' (dwarf mondo grass, green) growing near the karesansui.

    1. thank you for sharing YOUR mondo grass story, wobbly-sabi, and info on propagation, division and soil condition needed... glossy green berries is where SJG's ophiopogon is, too (you can see them forming in the pic above).

      your wayward child yellow-green mondo sounds interesting, watch it!

      hey, would you like to write a short post about upcoming seward park tour on 8/14 with Paul Talbert? i can post it for you. if you are too busy, i'll 'modify your msg about it and post it here soon - let me know, please.

    2. Maybe post Dewey W's announcement re Seward Park Tour?

  2. Yes, thank you. I will probably do just that + a few of other event announcements...

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