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Liriope muscari

(Lily Turf)


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This clustering plant spreads like grass , and has long leathery leaves, which may be solid green or green and white striped. Sometimes produces spikes of white or purple flowers. Commonly used in landscape edging.

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in English:

Lily Turf, Big Blue Lilyturf, Big blue turf lily, Lilyturf, Liriope muscari (Lilyturf), Monkey Grass

Common Names in Japanese:


Common Names in Korean:



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Genus Liriope

Herbs perennial , shortly rhizomatous , often stoloniferous . Roots sometimes with fleshy , tuberous part near tip . Leaves basal, tufted , sessile, grasslike or narrowly linear . Scape simple , naked, terminating in a reduced panicle. Flowers bisexual , often in clusters of 2--4, sometimes solitary, small, subtended by a bract and a few bracteoles; pedicel articulate . Tepals 6, free . Stamens 6, inserted at base of tepals; filaments narrowly linear; anthers basifixed . Ovary superior, 3-loculed; ovules 2 per locule. Style columnar , slightly 3-angled; stigma small. Fruit bursting irregularly at an early stage and exposing young seeds. Seeds deep blue to purple at maturity, berrylike, globose or ellipsoid .

About eight species, E Asia, extending to Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam; six species (three endemic) in China.[1]

Physical Description

Species Liriope muscari

Roots sometimes with fleshy , tuberous part near tip . Stolons absent. Leaves linear to narrowly so, (12--) 25--65 × (0.2--) 0.8--2(--3.5) cm, stiff, (5--) 9--11-veined. Scape (12--) 45--100 cm. Inflorescence (2--) 8--45 cm, many flowered; bracts setiform , 3--4 mm; bracteoles ovate . Flowers in clusters of (3 or) 4--8; pedicel (2--) 4--5 mm, articulate near middle . Tepals purple or lilac-purple, elliptic-oblong, 3.5--4 × 1.5--1.8 mm. Filaments ca. 1.5 mm; anthers equaling filaments. Style ca. 2 mm; stigma small, slightly 3-lobed. Seeds blackish purple at maturity, globose , 6--7 mm in diam. Fl. Jul--Aug, fr. Sep--Oct. 2 n = 36*, 72*, 108, (112*). [source]

Habit: Forb/herbGrowth Form: RhizomatousShape and Orientation: Erect

Flowers: Bloom Period: Late Summer • Flower Color: Blue • Flower Conspicuous: No

Seeds: Seed Spread Rate: None • Fruit/Seed Color: Black • Fruit/Seed Conspicuous: Yes • Cold Stratification Required: No

Foliage: Foliage Color: Green • Foliage Texture: CoarseFall Conspicuous: No • Leaf Retention: No


Active Growth Period: Spring and Summer • Growth Rate: Moderate • After Harvest Regrowth Rate: Slow • Mature Height (feet): 0.5 • Size: 6-12" tall. • Vegetative Spread Rate: Rapid • Lifespan: Lifespan


Forests , bamboo forests, scrub , shady and moist places in ravines and on slopes ; 100--1400(--2000) m [2].


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Duration: PerennialCoppice Potential: No • Progagated by Bulbs: No • Propagated by Bare Root: No • Propagated by Container: Yes • Propagated by Corms: No • Propagated by Cuttings: No • Propagated by Seed: No • Propagated by Sod: No • Propagated by Sprigs: Yes • Propagated by Tubers: No • Fruit/Seed Persistence: No


Culture: Space 9-12" apart.

Soil: Adapted to Medium Textured: Adapted to Medium Textured Soils • Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils: Yes • Anaerobic Tolerance: None • Salinity Tolerance: Low • CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium • Minimum pH: 5.0 • Maximum pH: 8.0 • Fertility Requirement: Medium

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade. • Shade Tolerance: Tolerant

Moisture: Drought Tolerance: Medium • Minimum Precipitation: 26 • Maximum Precipitation: 60 • Moisture Use: Low

Temperature: Minimum Temperature (F): -23 • Minimum Frost Free Days: 150 • Cold Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b. (map)


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L. muscari var. communis (Maximowicz) P. S. Hsu & L. C. Li • L. platyphylla F. T. Wang & T. Tang • L. spicata (Thunberg) Loureiro Var. Densifolia (Maximowicz Ex Baker) C. H. Wright • L. spicata var. latifolia Franchet • L. yingdeensis R. H. Miao • Liriope graminifolia (Linnaeus) Baker Var. Densifolia Maximowicz Ex Baker • O. spicatus (Thunberg) Ker Gawler Var. Communis Maximowicz. • Ophiopogon muscari Decaisne


Publishing author : L.H.Bailey Publication : Gentes Herb. ii. 35 (1929)

Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 09-Jul-2004

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Liriope

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 31 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

L. gigantea (Giant Lilyturf) · L. graminifolia (Lilyturf) · L. minor (Monkey Grass) · L. muscari (Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Aztec' (Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Aztec Grass' (Aztec Grass) · L. muscari 'Big Blue' (Big Blue Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'Christmas Tree' (Christmas Tree Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Densiflora' (Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Evergreen Giant' (Giant Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Gold Band' (Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'John Burch' (Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'Lilac Beauty' (Lilac Beauty Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'Majestic' (Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Monroe White' (Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'Okina' (Frosted Monkey Grass) · L. muscari 'Pee Dee Gold Ingot' (Golden Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Royal Purple' (Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Samantha' (Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Silvery Midget' (Silvery Midget Liriope) · L. muscari 'Silvery Sunproof' (Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'Silver Midget' (Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'Supergreen Giant' (Giant Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'Variegata' (Lilyturf) · L. muscari 'Webster Wideleaf' (Lily Turf) · L. muscari 'White' (Monroe's White Lily Turf) · L. platyphylla 'Variegata' (Variegated Lilyturf) · L. spicata (Creeping Lily Turf) · L. spicata 'Franklin Mint' (Creeping Lily Turf) · L. spicata 'Silver Dragon' (Creeping Lily Turf) · L. spicatum (Creeping Lilyturf)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 28, 2008:



  1. Chen Sing-chi, Minoru N. Tamura "Liriope". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 250. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. "Liriope muscari". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 251. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2015-01-30