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Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' .

I collected 20 seeds from these and they all grew. 4 are green so my question is how do I name them. are they just plain Ophiopogon planiscapus?
my botanical brain says yes as the black is a form of the species.
but I am open to advice as they are to be sold at an HPS event next week.




I have grown from seed and it was about 50% black and like you the rest were green ... "Ophiopogon planiscapus" seedlings would be more suitable as they wont be changing colour as they get older ..

24 Sep, 2017


Ophiopogon planiscapus is sold by Beth Chatto gardens as a dark green leaved form, but I've just noticed that the RHS has the name 'Ophiopogon planiscapus green' listed as 'tentatively accepted', with no other detail or image.

Google the name and you get shown nigrescens, but information on the web is less and less reliable horticulturally I find, especially Wiki sites, so I wouldn't take that as gospel. Certainly, my ancient Reader's Digest Encyclopaedia lists O. planiscapus as green leaved, and lists 'nigrescens' separately as black leaved. Common name for the black version is apparently mondo grass, which is what it's called in America, and Ebay is selling the green version under the name 'Green Dragon Grass', lord knows why...

If I saw the name O. planiscapus, I would take that to mean its not black leaved, but unless you know the people you're selling to are horticulturally informed, its probably safest to add 'green' on the end of the name, in case they expect it to turn black at some point.

24 Sep, 2017


I would just leave them as O.p. If they are on a sales table to buyers can see what colour the leaves are. I had not realised that they can have green leaves; I think ours just bulk up vegetatively and have never tried from seed.

24 Sep, 2017


well you have confirmed what I suspected.

I love a challenge Bulbaholic and I just fancied seeing what would happen. At the uni campus my daughter is at there is an italinate garden with all the edges in the black form. When we dropped her off in the new year they were showing lots of berries. I asked one of the staff if I could nick some and she told me to help myself. So at least we know the black form is not genetically 'stable'.

24 Sep, 2017


As I understand it, the name 'Nigrescens' is cultivar name, and so only valid for plants reproduced asexually--i.e., divisions, cell cultures, etc. A few of the seedlings might be genetically identical to 'Nigrescens, but there is no way to tell without sequencing their entire genomes! :)

24 Sep, 2017

How do I say thanks?

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