Black Grass - Ophiopogon Planiscapus

Black Grass - Ophiopogon Planiscapus

Mar 15, 2021

Black Grass
Another non-native but a super beautiful and commonly found plant! One to add to the weaver's garden :)
I was introduced to this one by my lovely little niece whilst in the park. She was going through a sweet stage of wanting to be basket maker like her aunty and picked a bunch for me saying I should make some Black fairy baskets with it.

Although the Black fades a small amount if left in direct sunshine for a long time, it does keep it's colour surprisingly well and I've found it a useful leaf to add into weavings to give a bit of colour contrast!

Where to find -

Black Grass is really useful in landscaping, it's a great low maintenance ground cover that seems to be able to thrive in many different conditions. This means it's often found in a variety of public spaces such as - parks, roundabouts and public gardens.
If you don't find Black Grass growing locally it's a really nice and easy plant to grow either inside or in your garden and totally worth it for those beautiful dark leaves! I picked some up from my local garden centre and they're happily growing away on my windowsill, they have the most delicate and beautiful little purple flowers too!

Gathering/processing -

Using a pair of scissors cut a few leaves close to the base from each plant. It's always important never to take too much from a plant but be especially gentle with Black Grass as although it's very hardy it's quite a slow growing plant.
When it comes to gathering it's just so important to go with your feeling. Trust that you know when it's alright to take a bunch of leaves and when it's not.
Once you've taken your harvest home, hang the leaves in little bunches out the way of direct sunlight. Depending on you climate, the leaves will take about 1-2 weeks to dry.

Soaking -

Being quite a tough leaf Black Grass takes a lal while to rehydrate/become flexible again. I like to soak them in warm water at least over night but as always go with your feeling :)
If they're not quite bendy enough just give them some more time!

Weaving/Cording -

I personally like to use these leaves to give nice accents of black in a basket along side other contrasting fibres. They are really easy to split by simply following the direction of the fibres down the leaf with your thumb nail and work rather nicely in twining.
Here I've combined twined split Black Grass alongside Crocosmia, Daylily and Corn husk.

This is some cordage made with the Black grass. Because the leaves are fairly short they're not the easiest to twist up but they make such a beautiful and strong finished cord!
Get this beautiful lal plant added to your garden!

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