Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple'
Common Name: lily turf
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 5 to 10
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Dark purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Erosion, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils in part shade in the St. Louis area. Tolerates a wide range of light conditions and soils. Will grow in close to full shade, but will produce more elongated foliage and spread more slowly. Also has good tolerance for heat, humidity and drought. Foliage is evergreen in warm southern climates, but declines considerably in areas with cold winters such as St. Louis. Cut foliage to the ground (mow large plots on high mower setting) in late winter to early spring in preparation for new growth. Plants may not be reliably winter hardy in the northern parts of USDA Zone 5 where they should be sited in protected locations.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Liriope muscari, commonly called lilyturf or blue lily turf, is a tufted, tuberous-rooted, grass-like perennial which typically grows 12-18" tall and features clumps of strap-like, arching, glossy, dark green leaves (to 1" wide). Clumps slowly expand by short stolons, but do not spread aggressively like Liriope spicata. Erect, showy flower spikes with tiered whorls of dense, violet-purple flowers rise above the leaves in late summer. Flowers give way to blackish berries which often persist into winter.

Genus name honors a Greek woodland nymph, Liriope, the mother of Narcissus.

Specific epithet means with flowers resemble grape hyacinth (Muscari).

Common name of lily turf acknowledges the plant's turf-like growing habit. It is not a grass and was previously place in the lily family but is now placed in the asparagus family. Another common name is border grass.

‘Royal Purple’ is most noted for its attractive grass-like foliage and deep purple flowers.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for slugs and snails. Leaf rot and crown rot may occur.

Garden Uses

Excellent grassy ground cover for shaded areas of the landscape. Best massed as a ground cover or edging plant. Small groups for accent. Rock gardens. Woodland gardens. Containers. Edging for paths or walkways. May be used in some areas as a grass substitute, but it has little tolerance for foot traffic.