This evergreen herbaceous perennial is native to China,Korea,and Japan where it grows as an understory plant in shady forests. It is a member of the asparagus family, Asparagaceae, that also includes lily of the valley, yucca, and hosta. The plants are 12-18″ tall and spread slowly by short rhzomes to form clumps up to 12″ wide. The dark green leaves are 1.5″ wide, arching, and grass-like. In late summer showy spikes of lavender-blue flowers appear in densely packed whorls above the foliage. In fall the flowers give way to black-purple berries which often persit into winter. Cultivars are availabe that vary most signficantly in leaf color and size which creates various textures that add interest to any planting making turf lily a good chioce for edings, rock and woodland gardens, as well as in containers. Turf lily is drought, heat, humidity and shade tolerant and is greatly valued as a groundcover especially for shady areas. The genus name, Lirope, honors the Greek woodland nymph, Liriope, mother of Narcissus. The specific epithet, muscari, is the generic name of the grape hyacinth, Muscarii, and refers to the resemblence of the turf lily flower spikes to those of the grape hyacinth.
Type: Evergreen herbaceous perennial.
Bloom: Spikes of lavender-blue small flowers are borne in late summer to fall.
Size: 12-18” H x 12” W.
Light: Part shade but tolerates full sun and full shade.
Soil: Average, well-drained; tolerates some drought.
Hardiness: Zones 6-9.
Care: Mow in late winter to early spring before new growth begins.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance.
Propagation: Divisions in spring.
Companion plants: Use as underplanting with evergreen shrubs such as clethra, viburnums, holly, sweet box, and skimmia.
- ‘Majestic’ (larger, deep lilac)
- var. variegate (creamy yellow edges, violet flowers)
- ‘Silver Midget’ ((8” tall, green leaves variegated with narrow white bands)