Content Detail

Blue lily-turf is a ground cover with very upright narrow foliage that resembles bulb foliage. Flower spikes are produced from mid to late summer. The species can be a bit borderline-hardy in the northern half of zone 5, but some of the cultivars are more reliable in zone 5.

  • Family (English) Lily of the Valley
  • Family (botanic) Ruscaceae
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily), Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 10, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early fall, late summer, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue, Purple, White
  • Shape or form Arching, Upright
  • Growth rate Slow

Size and method of spreading:

Blue lily-turf grows 12 to 18 inches high. It is a colonizing ground cover that spreads slowly by short rhizomes. The colonizing ground cover produces underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly that produce roots and then send up new shoots. 

Native geographic location and habitat:

Blue lily-turf is native to Asia.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

The long, thin dark green basal leaves resemble bulb foliage or even turf grass. It is evergreen in Southern climates.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Small purple flowers are produced on upright stalks from mid to late summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruits are dark berries and are not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Although blue lily-turf does best in moist and shady sites, it is tolerant of a wide range of light and soil conditions once established. In Southern climates, the foliage is evergreen, but in Northern climates, foliage often looks ragged after winter and mowing it down in early spring will encourage new growth.

List of pests and diseases:

Slugs can be a problem with blue lily-turf. It is resistant to deer and tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Big Blue lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’):

It grows 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. It produces lavender to blue flowers. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Majestic lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Majestic’):

This cultivar grows 12 to 15 inches tall and wide. Its flowers are deep lavender to violet. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Monroe’s White lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Monroe’s White’):

It grows 14 to 18 inches tall and wide and produces white flowers. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Royal Purple lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’):

This cultivar grows 12 to 18 inches tall and wide and produces deep purple flowers. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Silvery Sunproof lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Silvery Sunproof’):

This has green leaves with cream-colored edges that grow nine to 15 inches tall and wide. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

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