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Ophiopogon (off-ee-oh-poh-gon), lily turf, mondo, grass; Ruscaceae Family. Narrow leaved, evergreen perennial from Asia. Ophiopogon forms sods or tufts, and are valuable as ground covers in sun or shade. The thick grass-like, basal leaves grow in dense masses. Small blue or white flowers bloom in drooping clusters that look like bunches of little grapes. Small blue berries follow the flowers. Ophiopogon grows best on moist shady banks but tolerate many situations in either sun or shade.

Ophiopogon japonicas (jap-pon-ik-us); a smaller species with many dark green, linear leaves 8 to 10 inches long and gracefully arching. Small pale lilac flowers. Dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) can be used in beds and borders, an is excellant choice for areas where mowing can be difficult. The best species for ground holding purposes.

Very easy to grow evergreen perennial, member of the lily family. Ophiopogon grow best in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Intolerant of full sun in southern zones. Plant in small clusters or large; small-scale ground cover in rock gardens, between stepping stones or low border edging.

PLANTING: Set plants 6 to 8 inches apart. Sunny locations can be considered in northern zones; at minimum, select partial shade locations in the southern zones. Though drought-resistant, the Lily Turf is happiest in a moist soil, summer mulch helps.

MAINTENANCE: Water during periods of drought. Divide in spring if plants become overcrowded, or to increase stock for additional plantings.