University of Maryland Extension: Plant of the Week
Liriope muscari and Liriope spicata
Text and photo by Virginia Williams
Tough and adaptable, liriope is a stellar groundcover.
Liriope muscari, as shown in the photo, is a clumping form that stays in a clump and does not spread aggressively. Clumps continue to expand, but no runners are formed. It can grow in sun or shade or on the steepest slope.
Once established, it is drought tolerant. Its ribbon-like foliage can get as long as 18 inches and sports purple or white flowers in the summer. This clumping form is popular as edging.
Liriope spicata, on the other hand, is a spreading form that sends out runners. It is especially useful to control erosion, but should not be planted where it can get out of control.
Deer may nibble on it during the winter (saving you the trouble of cutting off old foliage), but liriope is not a big deer favorite.