Monkey Grass - Knowledgebase Question

Garden Grove, CA
Question by dstyrose
January 6, 2001
I saw a program on HGTV and the lady showed a section of her garden and said that the grass was great for an area that is shaded. She called it Monkey Grass. I can't find it in my garden books. Can you help me? I don't know if it is ornamental or if I can buy seed to spread. Thank you for your help.


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Answer from NGA
January 6, 2001

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Ophiopogon japonicus is commonly called Monkey Grass, Mondo Grass, and Dwarf Lilyturf. It's a grass-like evergreen perennial forming clumps of strap-like (1/8" wide) foliage. It spreads via underground runners, is long lived and easily divided. It can also be propagated by seed; each berry (usually produced in autumn) has one seed.

Monkey grass grows best in filtered sun to full shade; requires good drainage, and prefers slightly acidic, humus-rich soil. Divide and prune out brownish foliage in spring before new growth begins. Apply leaf mold in autumn. Keep barely moist in winter.

Plants are easy to obtain at most nurseries.

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