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PlantFiles: Lily Turf, Lilyturf, Monkey Grass
Liriope muscari

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Family: Ruscaceae
Genus: Liriope (lir-RYE-oh-pee) (Info)
Species: muscari (mus-KAR-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Liriope exiliflora
Synonym:Liriope gigantea
Synonym:Liriope platyphylla
Synonym:Liriope yingdeensis
Synonym:Ophiopogon muscari

39 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Groundcovers

Height:
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Violet/Lavender

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen
Dark/Black
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
4.5 or below (very acidic)
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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Profile:

15 positives
7 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral OneAkela On Nov 25, 2014, OneAkela from Chesterfield, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

These things are found all over central Virginia. Apparently they are a favorite of landscapers. I have five of these and I do nothing to them. Maybe a smidge of fertilizer a couple of times a year (not that it makes much difference; they do what they want). The roots are very tough though. Since mine are only two years old or so, I have not tried multiplying them. Maybe I will tinker with the berries. I noticed them the other day (Nov 2014).

Not a plant of choice, since the builder put them in, but I am not cursing at them either.

Positive OlgaT On Jul 28, 2014, OlgaT from Orinda, CA wrote:

My liriope muscari is doing well here in SF East Bay Area. One of my plants has a very tall (3 ft long) grassy stalk growing out of the center. It's definitely part of the plant. Does anybody have a plant that has done this? The plants were installed last year.

Neutral chrishna On Apr 3, 2014, chrishna from Princeton North, NJ wrote:

I love this plant. So much that I'm going in for round 2 now that we've moved. Round 1 in old house didn't go so well. That makes for a neutral rating :) I live in Zone 6b (then and now); winters to zero, hot humid summers to 100+. I planted at least 50 plants a few years back. Slowly, one by one, here and there (not all in same spot of bed), the leaves yellowed from base to tip, and eventually the whole plant would die. When I would pull out the leaves to clean them up, I noticed they were completely black at the base. After 3 years, I think I had 15 plants left. They were in full sun; the soil was lean, acidic and had decent drainage... They were surrounded by mulch since they were too thin to fill the space at planting. I'm thinking they caught some fungus from the mulch??? Hopefully Round 2 goes better. I would appreciate any tips on fertilizing / not fertilizing, fungus, etc. Thanks.

Positive goldenlo On Mar 24, 2014, goldenlo from Rochester, MI wrote:

This is a must for Michigan gardeners, especially for those doing battle with hungry deer. They do not touch it. A nice alternative to hostas.
Clean the dead leaves in spring or the plant may take longer to grow. It is generally a NO maintenance, beautiful plant.

Positive amelliso On Mar 24, 2014, amelliso from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Wonderful plant that does very well in Texas just below the Panhandle. Very hot here in the summer, high 90s and low 100s, and this plant never flinches. It stays pretty green here over the winter, zone 7, just gets brown tips. In early spring, the dead leaves need to be trimmed to make way for the new shoots. Make sure you do this before the new growth begins, or you can get new leaves with the tips lopped off! (Learned that the hard way!) I had this in a flower bed as a border, and over the years it spread into the bed. I just sawed away at the edges with a pruning saw to cut it back to where it belonged. No damage whatsoever to the remaining plants. I think you could probably divide this with a sharp shovel, too. I can't speak to trying to remove it, as I never have. I love this plant.

Neutral Psyguy10 On Apr 15, 2009, Psyguy10 from Fayetteville, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

ok, well... the reason i've given a neutral rating is because this plant is one of the toughest, most indestructible plants out there... it's actually a nice plant but it grows so fast it's become somewhat of a weed here (and it hasn't helped that my father had the *great* idea of using it as a border on most of the flower beds) but it's evergreen can withstand sun or shade, almost never needs watering and forms nice mounds... but i've seen it so much i have no desire to buy or plant any more of it for a lonnnng time... but as long as you keep it in check it makes a pretty nice plant **flinches**

Positive frausnow On Jan 17, 2009, frausnow from Winterville, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

The Liriope is so very prolific. I had a "bumper" crop this year and collected almost a full gallon ziplock bag full of seeds and those came from about a 12 foot section where they grow along the sidewalk in front of the house! They'll grow in sun or shade. Mine are on the north side of the house where it is mostly shady all day long. They are so full and bushy that I have to thin them out this year, so I will be planting them along my long driveway this year.

Liriope grows about a foot tall with a spikey purple flower during the summer. When the flowers are spent the black berries start forming. It's a slow process. I wait until early winter to harvest them. I put my hand under the bottom berry wrapping my fingers around the stem and gently pull up capturing the berries in my palm. Wear gloves, they do tend to stain. I then spread them out to dry in a box flat or some other large flat medium with sides (a cookie sheet will work, too) as not all the seeds have dried enough on the stem. When the seeds have shriveled and lost half their size I put them in a ziploc bag and in the freezer.

Positive KaylyRed On Mar 12, 2008, KaylyRed from Watertown, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

For such a low-maintenance plant, you really can't go wrong with liriope. I'm a novice gardener and have had great success with it--it really is goof-proof! I use this plant as a combination ground cover and low-growing ornamental grass. The lavender flower spikes are just a bonus.

Mine does quite well with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Neutral CaptMicha On Aug 12, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Fast to flower. Plants are a bit vigourous, growing through my weed paper. Easy to seperate though.

Enjoy full sun, drought tolerant and require little to no care. Makes shiny black berries after flower, which is in the spring and again in late summer.

Neutral lmelling On Nov 30, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I tried planting Liriope here in zone 5b, back in 1998 - even though it was only supposed to be hardy through zone 6. It lived over two very mild winters here with heavy snow cover, but the first really cold winter killed it off.

Positive melody On Nov 29, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A cast -iron, no-kill plant that even someone with the blackest thumb will have success with.

Makes a fine border or edging and is happy regardless if it's in the sun or shade.

Transplants with a minimum of shock and spreads like wildfire.

Care should be taken as to where you put this...because once you've got it...it's always with you.

Positive lego_brickster On Aug 30, 2004, lego_brickster from Lawrenceville, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

We've had great success with the Big Blue variety here in Zone 5.
We have four big clumps which have overwintered for the last three years for us.
Constant winter snow cover is probably responsible for it's durability here. If uncovered from the snow, it's still lush and green, but once the snow fades and the dry March winds come in, it immediately withers and fades, and looks horrible for about two months. Then it comes out strong again, with it's normal lush appearance. It has bloomed for us every year.
Several landscapers have shown surprise that we grow Liriope in Z5. Most claim that it just can't be done. :-)

Positive Coopma On Jul 21, 2004, Coopma from Atlanta, GA wrote:

I love liriope and use it for borders now. I have it in full sun in NE Georgia. It gets really hot and humid and does great. I want to have my entire front and/or backyard be all liriope. Only have to mow it once a year in February. Drought resistant. Has anyone planted a really large area with nothing but liriope?

Also, how well does it grow from seed?
Do you grow it like fescue?

Positive dsturg9469 On May 11, 2004, dsturg9469 from Erlanger, KY wrote:

I have had tremendous success with this plant, love the way it looks, grows and matures.

Positive YardKat On May 9, 2004, YardKat from Gillett, TX wrote:

I recently purchased 10, 3" pots of liriope from WalMart. All were extremely root bound. I had a large area to cover as a border. My plans were to subdivide & space every 6-8". These plants are very forgiving. I cut, yanked & twisted every one of these pots to subdivide. None suffered from shock -- not even one leaf died! Although they were a big mess in the beginning (I had to do a massive clean up). All are very happy!
YardKat, Gillett, TX

Positive suncatcheracres On Oct 2, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

Southern Living Garden Book lists ten different varieties of Liriope muscari, which is a clumper, plus two varieties of L. spicata, a spreader, and two more varieties of Mondo grass (Ophiopogon), a smaller version of Liriope. I have seen this plant all of my life--in my Grandparent's yards, my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousin's yards--and in my Parent's various yards over the years. And now in my yards through the years here in the Southeastern US.

I have seen statements that this plant is vastly overused as a border plant, but I think it is the perfect border plant. It can be mowed under, or over in the early Spring, and its attractive, evergreen, gently arching, dark green blades definitely announce the line between the lawn or driveway and the flower border. I personally like the white flowered type because of their greater contrast, especially when the flowers grow low in the plant. Some of the purple-lavender flowers are harder to see against the dark foliage.

I agree that the variegated types are not as vigorous. I personally prefer L. spicata because it readily spreads, and by digging up the little "babies" and transplanting them you can easily create new borders.

In the Fall I have created new borders of L. muscari by picking off all of the dark berries and planting them where I want a border to grow. The following Spring I had many small blades sticking up an inch or two, but this plant is a slow grower, and it will take a few years for a border to really look good from seed. However, it is certainly much cheaper to start a long border from seed than from bought plants.

Positive TerriFlorida On Oct 1, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:

When I started gardening, I started evicting grass, and I did not understand the point of then cultivating grassy things. It took me some years, but I have gotten past my grass hating, grin. After the move of 30 miles, I inherited many clumps of liriope, and I have found it to be tough, forgiving stuff. I have divided 2' wide clumps but it is an adventure involving shovel and much stomping and pulling apart. The type I have blooms low, and the leaves are more than a foot long so these are at least 18" tall. The ones I have divided do very little pouting before settling in. Undivided clumps can sit on the ground and await attention for a week, during the rainy season. It really is an impressive plant. No wonder we see them everywhere here.

Positive kabloom On May 30, 2003, kabloom from Alpharetta, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Established easily under my dogwood. Even tolerates abuse by my dog and still looks full and lush. Does better in shade, but will tolerate some sun.

Positive Greenknee On Feb 8, 2003, Greenknee from Chantilly, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

A very tough competitor. I have a large bed under dense maple trees, has thickened over the years. Mow to ground every Feb. before the interplanted daffodils start to emerge. The solid green, fertile variety is the most vigorous competitor, the variegated ones can't compete as well. I grow from seed and divisions.

Positive Chamma On Dec 22, 2002, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love it...It does well in the shade partial shade...and lots of water! DubaiUAE zone 11

Neutral lupinelover On Aug 1, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Different cultivars have different hardiness zones, some are hardy to zone 4, others to zone 7. Some are variegated, some do not flower.

Neutral Terry On Aug 31, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Low-maintenance, rugged plant often found as edging along beds and borders. In early spring, dead leaves should be pruned back and the plant sidedressed with fertilizer.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Berlin,
Birmingham, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Seale, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Golden Valley, Arizona
Kingman, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tempe, Arizona
Clovis, California
Elk Grove, California
Knights Landing, California
Oakland, California
San Jose, California
Auburndale, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Gibsonton, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Homosassa, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Plant City, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Albany, Georgia
Alpharetta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Clarkston, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Winterville, Georgia
Newburgh, Indiana
Derby, Kansas
Rose Hill, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Bastrop, Louisiana
Kenner, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana
Scott, Louisiana
Brookeville, Maryland
Ijamsville, Maryland
Manchester, Maryland
Foxboro, Massachusetts
Norton, Massachusetts
Rochester, Michigan
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Bridgeton, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Trenton, New Jersey
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Matthews, North Carolina
Raeford, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Xenia, Ohio
Choctaw, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Salina, Oklahoma
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania
Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Alvin, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Atlanta, Texas
Brazoria, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Irving, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Odessa, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Chesterfield, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Mechanicsville, Virginia
Danese, West Virginia
Newell, West Virginia
Watertown, Wisconsin



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