Unsung landscape hero: Liriope muscari

By May 10, 2018 No Comments

The first time I really noticed Liriope muscari I was a municipal parks worker maintaining a sports complex. I noticed the mass planted clumps of green but I had no idea what they were until my knowledgeable co-worker helped me out. After you read this blog post I hope you will agree that this plant is a workhorse in our landscapes. I would say it’s an unsung hero.

Landscape uses

Liriope muscari is a perennial with grass-like evergreen foliage and it works well either as mass-planted groundcover or as a border along sidewalks. This is precisely where I ran into this plant again early in 2018. I was helping one of our foremen at a new site and as we walked along he asked me what the grass-like plants were. And I was ready to answer his question thanks to my municipal experience.




Liriope muscari border use


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Liriope muscari groundcover use.



This plant fits perfectly between the fences and the sidewalk. The grass-like foliage shades out any weeds and the plant doesn’t spread aggressively. One big bonus is that Liriope muscari doesn’t require any maintenance. All you have to do is cut back the old foliage.

The plant prefers full-sun to part-shade conditions but it tolerates different types of soil and light, heat, humidity and drought! Not bad at all. That’s why it’s a landscape workhorse.

Bonus flower

Liriope muscari produces flowers in late summer which then turn into single-seeded berries on a spike. My picture shows a white flower but you will most likely see purple flowers.



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Lawn edging

When I opened a recent issue of Fine Gardening magazine, I noticed a hint from a reader. Instead of deep edging his lawn-bed border he plants Liriope muscari. Then when he mows his lawn he just brushes by the plants and allows them to define the border between lawn and planted bed. Mowing is easier than establishing and maintaining a deep edge. I really like this idea.


If you need a good, low-maintenance perennial for your border or groundcover, you should try Liriope muscari. It tolerates all kinds of conditions, requires minimal maintenance and it produces nice flowers and berries. It deserves its unsung hero label.

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