Liriope muscari is a grassy groundcover that is similar to mondo grass in both appearance and function. This groundcover has a number of uses: as a border plant, alongside sidewalks, around trees or as a groundcover in out-of-the-way spots in a backyard. Both Liriope muscari and mondo grass are hardy, deer resistant plants that withstand dry conditions and can grow in both sun and shade. The decision over which to use is a matter of preference, however there are several distinctions that may make one more advantageous than the other for your landscaping needs.
Advantages of Liriope muscari
Liriope is frequently known as lilyturf due to the fact that it is a member of the lily family. Liriope plants are fuller and taller than mondo plants, reaching an average height of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm). They also have a thicker root system.
One distinguishing feature of this groundcover that many gardeners enjoy are the colorful flower spikes that the plant produces. While mondo flowers are typically white or light purple in color, liriope muscari produce spikes of violet or blue flowers that appear each summer. Variegated Liriope varieties also display gold or silvery streaks on their leaves, adding even more color to your yard.
Something to consider when landscaping with these ground cover plants is whether you will be planting in a shady area or in full sun. Both Liriope and mondo are versatile plants which can be grown in either sun or shade, however Liriope typically handles full sun better than mondo grass. Liriope are drought-tolerant and can withstand hot and dry conditions better than most other grasses and groundcovers available today. They do, however, prefer a slightly moist soil and look their best when they receive some water, whether from rain or an occasional watering.
L. Muscari is ideal for zones 6-10. Some have reported success with this plant in zone 5, but it should be protected during periods of extreme cold.
Muscari Vs. Spicata
The two main varieties of Liriope are Liriope muscari and Liriope spicata. Both species are quite similar but can be differentiated by the size of their flower spike (L. muscari’s spike is taller and more pronounced), and their leaves (muscari’s are longer and wider). Another major difference is that Liriope muscari tends to stay where it is planted while Liriope spicata will spread quickly throughout a wide area. For this reason, the muscari variety is the preferred species for use as a border or in a flower bed. Liriope spicata will work well as a groundcover for a wide area and for erosion control on hillsides.
Liriope can play a role in helping to beautify your yard and garden. Whichever variety you chose you will be pleased with the way they accentuate the features of your property and help bring about a more professionally landscaped look.