Liriope spicata
Common Name: creeping liriope  
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: China, Vietnam
Zone: 4 to 10
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Lavender to white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Erosion, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils in part shade. Spreads quickly by underground rhizomes to form colonies, and can be quite aggressive. Mow in early spring to remove old foliage.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Liriope spicata is a rhizomatous, grass-like perennial which forms a clump of narrow, arching, glossy, dark green leaves (to 1/4" wide) typically growing 9-15" high. Erect flower spikes with pale lavender to white flowers arise, somewhat hidden, among the leaves in late summer. Flowers often give way to blackish berries in fall. Evergreen in the South, but can turn brown considerably in areas with cold winters such as St. Louis.

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

Specific epithet means spike-bearing.

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.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for slugs or snails.


Best as a dense ground cover. Effective planted under shallow-rooted trees and along streams or ponds. Can help stabilize soil on banks or slopes.