Blue lily-turf is a ground cover with very upright narrow foliage that resembles the foliage of bulbs. 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.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Mixed border
- Medium plant (12-24 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9,
- Zone 10
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought
Season of Interest:
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
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. Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots and then send up new shoots.
While blue lily-turf does best in moist sites, it is also fairly tolerant of dryness once established. It makes its best growth in shady sites, but is tolerant of full sun. In Southern climates, the foliage is evergreen, but in the north, foliage often looks ragged after winter and mowing it down in early spring, will encourage new growth.
Disease, pests, and problems
Slugs can be a problem.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Resistant to deer and tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Asia.
The long, thin basal leaves resemble bulb foliage or even turf grass. Foliage is dark green; evergreen in Southern climates.
Small purple flowers are produced on upright stalks from mid to late summer.
Fruits are dark berries; not ornamentally important.
Cultivars and their differences
Big Blue lily-turf (Liriope muscari 'Big Blue'): Grows 12 to 18 inches high; flowers are lavendar to blue. Zone 5.
Majestic lily-turf (Liriope muscari 'Majestic'): Grows 12 to 15 inches tall; flowers are deep lavendar to violet. Zone 5.
Monroe's White lily-turf (Liriope muscari 'Monroe's White'): White flowers. Zone 5.
Royal Purple lily-turf (Liriope muscari 'Royal Purple'): Deeper purple flowers. Zone 5.
Silvery Sunproof lily-turf (Liriope muscari 'Silvery Sunproof'): Green leaves with cream-colored edges. May need some winter protection in zone 5.