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Publication #FPS-349

Liriope muscari 'Variegata' Variegated Lilyturf, Variegated Liriope1

Edward F. Gilman2

Introduction

Variegated leaves and attractive, violet-blue flowers give this plant its charm (Fig. 1). Variegated lilyturf is a 6- to 12-inch-tall, herbaceous perennial that is useful in the landscape as a ground cover and accent plant. This plant spreads slowly by rhizomes and forms thick tubers that look like small potatoes. The 8- to 20-inch-long, grass-like leaves have yellow stripes on their outer margins and arise from a central crown. The small, purple flowers of variegated lilyturf occur in terminal racemes that sit atop an 8- to 10-inch-tall, violet-brown scape. These flowers appear in the summer and are followed by blue-black berrylike fruits. Flowers are mostly inconspicuous due to the brightly colored foliage.

Figure 1. 

Variegated lilyturf


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Liriope muscari 'Variegata'
Pronunciation: luh-RYE-oh-pee mus-KAR-ree
Common name(s): variegated lilyturf, variegated liriope, variegated border grass
Family: Liliaceae
Plant type: perennial; herbaceous; ornamental grass
USDA hardiness zones: 6 through 10 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 7: year round
Planting month for zone 8: year round
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Planting month for zone 10: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: mass planting; edging; naturalizing

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Description

Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Plant habit: upright
Plant density: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: fine

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: most emerge from the soil, usually without a stem
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: linear
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 12 to 18 inches
Leaf color: variegated
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: purple
Flower characteristic: summer flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: less than .5 inch
Fruit cover: fleshy
Fruit color: black
Fruit characteristic: showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: not applicable
Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun; plant grows in the shade
Soil tolerances: alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 12 to 18 inches

Other

Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Variegated lilyturf is a great plant for bordering a sidewalk or as an edging for a landscape bed. It will grow well underneath trees or around shrubs. However, it will not tolerate foot traffic.

Variegated lilyturf will grow in a sunny location, but prefers one that has partial shade or full shade. It prefers well-drained soils and is moderately tolerant of drought and salt spray. This plant does have a negative reaction to high temperatures and can melt out in warm weather.

Variegated lilyturf may be propagated by division of the clumps or tubers. It will also grow from seed if the pulp is removed.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern. Grasshoppers may occasionally damage the foliage.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FPS-349, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.