It is strange that Liriope has remained so uncommon. It will not thrive in chalky soils, but if your land is lime-free then this tufted plant will remain evergreen in most areas and produce spikes of tiny bell-shaped flowers throughout the autumn. It will withstand both shade and drought, and can be used for the front of the border or as ground cover under taller plants. If you don’t want it to spread, lift and divide the clumps every few years. Cut off faded flower stems in autumn and trim back old leaves in spring.

VARIETIES: The basic species is L. muscari (L. platyphylla) – height 1-1.5 ft. Spacing 1 ft.

Flowering period: September-November. The flowers which appear above the grassy leaves are similar to Grape Hyacinth in shape – the usual colour is mauve or violet, but a white variety is available and there is also a yellow variegated form. L. spicata (Creeping Lily Turl) has narrower leaves than the more popular L. muscari.

SITE AND SOIL: Any lime-free garden soil will do – thrives in sun or partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in spring.

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