Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon, Snakes Beard, Lilyturf, Aztec Grass)

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  • Common Name: Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon, Snakes Beard, Lilyturf, Aztec Grass)
  • Latin Name: Ophiopogon spp.
  • Family Name: Asparagaceae (formerly Liliaceae)
This ornamental garden plant is not a true grass, but closely related to the Lily family of plants.  It grows from rhizomes that are high in saponins.  As saponins are toxic to cold-blooded animals, and as we do not know if the leaves of Black Mondo Grass also contain high levels of saponins, we would advise you to exercise caution and not feed this plant to tortoises.

While the grass-like leaves are often black (or green and changing to black), the flowers are usually white, pink, or lavender, and the berries are usually a glossy black or sometimes bright metallic blue in colour.  Black Mondo Grass can easily be confused with Lily Turf (Liriope), so be sure you have identified your plant correctly..
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