Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'


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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour



Flowers, Dramatic foliage



Skill level


Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Plant details

Also known variously as 'Black Dragon', 'Ebony Knight', or 'Arabicus', Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' is an extraordinary looking plant, with purple-green leaves that turn jet black when grown in full sun and well-drained soil. Its dwarf habit means it's easily lost in a border, and so it's therefore best grown on a rock garden, container or raised bed. Left undisturbed it slowly forms fair-sized clumps and looks good interplanted with small perennials such as Geranium farreri. It also makes a good foil for dwarf rock garden bulbs in spring.

For best results, and the darkest foliage, grow Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' in very well-drained soil in full sun. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Convallariaceae

Genus: Ophiopogon

Species: planiscapus

Cultivar: Nigrescens

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Lavender

Foliage colour: Black

Feature: Flowers, Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 20cm

Spread: 30cm

Time to divide plants: March to May

Reader reviews


ophiopogun planiscapus blackbeard offers better coverage and growth, it was shortlisted in the top 20 best new plants at this years Chelsea, we have one growing in a pot on our balcony and it's quite spectacular. Also it had lovely mauve highly scented flowers followed by black berries.


I have grown mine as an edging plant at the front of a sunny border. It offsets the box behind it beautifully. Very easy to divide and grow more plants.

Gardener John

I also grow mine as edging plants,they provide strong
contrast to any area in the garden.

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