Thursday, 18 February 2016


Liriope muscari is a species of low, herbaceous flowering plants from East Asia, in the Asparagaceae family. Common names in English include big blue lilyturf, lilyturf, border grass, and monkey grass. It is a perennial with grass-like evergreen foliage and lilac-purple flowers which produce single-seeded berries on a spike in Autumn.

It is an understory plant in China, Japan, and Korea occurring in shady forests at elevations of 100–1,400 m. It is a tufted, grass-like perennial which typically grows 30–45 cm tall and features clumps of strap-like, arching, glossy, dark green leaves to 1.5 cm. Clumps slowly expand by short stolons to a width of about 30 cm, but plants do not spread aggressively. Roots are fibrous, often with terminal tubers.

The small, showy flowers occur on erect spikes with tiered whorls of dense, white to violet-purple flowers rising above the leaves in late summer. Flowers resemble those of grape hyacinth (Muscari), which is the origin of the species name. Flowers develop into blackish berries which often persist into winter. There is considerable variation in leaf colour and size among a number of recognised cultivars. Distinguishing species in the genus Liriope is difficult at best, and mistaken identity occurs even in commercial nurseries.

Being an easy plant to grow, it is one of the most popular ground covers in temperate to subtropical climate, and is commonly used in landscaping as border plants and ground cover. L. muscari has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The species is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Ideal conditions are moist, fertile soils with partial shade. However, lilyturf tolerates a wide range of light and soil conditions. Lilyturf is also tolerant of heat, humidity, and drought. The evergreen foliage often turns brown in late winter; old foliage can be cut back or mowed at a high setting before new shoots appear early spring. Lilyturf is suitable for USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 10. It might be grown in zone 5 in sheltered locations or if protected during severe winter weather.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

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