Facts about Lily Turf

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Lily turf Quick Facts
Name: Lily turf
Scientific Name: Liriope muscari
Origin Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea
Colors Green when young turning to blue ripening to black purple
Shapes Spherical, berrylike drupes 0.2 to 0.3 inch (6 to 8 mm) wide
Health benefits Support for coughs, fevers, dysentery, asthma, bronchial and lung inflammation
Liriope muscari commonly known as Lily turf is a species of flowering plant belonging to Asparagaceae (asparagus) family. The plant is native to Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea. It is invasive to North America and considered a threat to native wildlife. Common names in English include big blue lilyturf, Lilyturf, Border Grass, Blue Lilyturf, Liriope, monkey grass, Spider Grass and Border grass. It is a rather well known perennial plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world. Common name of lily turf recognizes the plant’s turf-like growing habit. It is not a grass and was previously place in the lily family but is now placed in the asparagus family. Another common name is border grass. Though it may resemble an ornamental grass it is not a true grass. Genus name honors a Greek woodland nymph, Liriope, the mother of Narcissus. Specific epithet means with flowers resemble grape hyacinth (Muscari). It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.

Lily Turf Facts

Name Lily turf
Scientific Name Liriope muscari
Native Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea
Common Names Lilyturf, Big blue lilyturf, Border Grass, Blue Lilyturf, Liriope, monkey grass, Spider Grass, Border grass
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Lilyturf           
Albanian: Lilyturf            
Amharic: Līlīwiteri (ሊሊውተር)
Arabic: Lilyturf, liryubiat muskaria (ليريوبية موسكارية)
Armenian: Shushan (շուշան)
Azerbaijani: Lilyturf
Bengali: Lilyturf               
Bulgarian: Liriopi (лириопи)      
Burmese: Naypyitaw (နေပြည်တော်)
Chinese: Cǎopíng (草坪), kuo ye shan mai dong (阔叶山麦冬)
Croatian: Lilyturf             
Czech: Lilyturf   
Danish: Lilyturf 
Dutch: Lilyturf, leliegras
English: Lilyturf, Big blue Lilyturf, border grass, monkey grass
Esperanto: Lililio
Estonian: Lilyturf
Filipino: Lilyturf               
Finnish: Lilyturf, Liriope
French: Lilyturf, liriope muscari 
Georgian: Lilit’urpi (ლილიტურფი)     
German: Lilienrasen, Lilientraube, Traubenlilie
Greek: Lílyrf (Λίλυρφ)
Gujarati: Lilīṭarpha (લિલીટર્ફ)     
Hausa: Lilyturf  
Hebrew: לילית  
Hindi: Lilyturf   
Hungarian: Lilyturf         
Icelandic: Lilyturf            
Indonesian: Bunga bakung
Irish: Lilyturf      
Italian: Lilyturf, liriope   
Japanese: Rirītāfu (リリーターフ),  yabu-ran (ヤブラン)
Javanese: Lilyturf            
Kannada: Liliṭarph (ಲಿಲಿಟರ್ಫ್)
Kazakh: Liliturf (лилитурф)
Korean: Baeghab (백합), maegmundong (맥문동), maek mun don
Kurdish: Lilyturf               
Lao: Lilyturf
Latin: Lilyturf
Latvian: Lilyturf
Lithuanian: Lilyturf         
Macedonian: Liliturf (лилитурф)
Malagasy: Lilyturf
Malay: Lilyturf
Malayalam: Lilliṟṟarph (ലില്ലിറ്റർഫ്)
Maltese: Lilyturf              
Marathi: Lileetarph (लिलीटर्फ)
Mongolian: Liliurf (лилиурф)
Nepali: Lileetarph (लिलीटर्फ)
Norwegian: Lilyturf
Oriya: ଲିଲିଟର୍ଫ୍ |
Pashto: لیلیټرف
Persian: لیلیتورف     
Polish: Lilyturf, liriope szafirkowata                        
Portuguese: Lilyturf, Barba-de-serpente, Liriopes, Liríopes-verde, Ofiopogo-azul
Punjabi: Lilyturf               
Romanian: Lilyturf
Russian: Lilyturf                , liriope muskari (лириопе мускари)
Serbian: Lilyturf (лилитурф)
Sindhi: لليٽرف
Sinhala: Liliṭarf (ලිලිටර්ෆ්)
Slovenian: Lilyturf
Spanish: Lilyturf, liriope, serpentine
Sudanese: Lilyturf
Swedish: Lilyturf, Mörk druvlilja
Tajik: Lilyturf     
Tamil: Liliṭṭarḥp (லிலிட்டர்ஃப்)
Telugu: Lilyturf
Thai: Lilyturf      
Turkish: Lilyturf
Ukrainian: Lilyturf (лілітурф)     
Urdu: للیٹرف
Uzbek: Lilyturf  
Vietnamese: Lướt ván
Welsh: Lilyturf 
Zulu: Lilyturf
Plant Growth Habit Small, broadleaf evergreen, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial plant
Growing Climates Forests, bamboo forests, scrub, shady and moist places in ravines and on slopes
Soil Tolerates a wide range of soils and soil conditions, but it doesn’t like constantly wet or boggy soil
Plant Size 30–45 cm (12–18 in) tall
Root The roots sometimes have a fleshy, tuberous part near their tip
Leaf Leaves are tufted, numerous, ensiform, 45 to 70 centimeters long, and 0.3 to 0.8 centimeters wide
Flowering season July-August
Flower Multiple slender flower stalks, 15 to 14 inches (6 to 36 cm) tall, with the terminal 1.5 to 4.5 inches (4 to 12 cm) having spaced clusters of tiny lavender or violet (to white) flowers, with yellow centers, opening at different times above the leaves in late summer
Fruit Shape & Size Spherical, berrylike drupes 0.2 to 0.3 inch (6 to 8 mm) wide
Fruit Color Green when young turning to blue ripening to black purple
Seed Blackish purple at maturity, globose, 6-7 mm in diameter
Plant Parts Used Root
Propagation By division of the clumps or by seed
Season August to February
Types
  • Big Blue lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’)
  • Majestic lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Majestic’)
  • Monroe’s White lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Monroe’s White’)
  • Royal Purple lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’)
  • Silvery Sunproof lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Silvery Sunproof’)

Plant Description

Lily turf is a small, broadleaf evergreen, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial plant that normally grows about 30–45 cm (12–18 in) tall. The plant is found growing in forests, bamboo forests, scrub, shady and moist places in ravines and on slopes. It tolerates a wide range of soils and soil conditions, but it doesn’t like constantly wet or boggy soil. Roots are fibrous, often with terminal tubers. Grass like tufts of initially interconnected plants lack a central stem, except for the flower/fruit stalks. The plant has clumps of strap-like, arching, glossy, dark green leaves (to 1″ wide). Clumps slowly expand by short stolons, but do not spread aggressively like Liriope spicata.

Leaves

Grass like but fleshier, radiating from the soil surface in expanding tufted groups, 2.5 to 7 inches (6 to 18 cm) long and 0.1 inch (2 mm) wide on new plants, up to 18 inches (45 cm) long and 0.4 inch (1 cm) wide on mature plants, widest at the middle and tapering to a blunt tip. Multiple lengthwise, parallel veins with a distinctly indented mid vein and slightly thickened, very finely serrated margins. It is glossy green being somewhat lighter beneath with whitish bases. Variegated varieties appear less aggressive. Leaf tips turn brown and die back in winter. New leaves grow from the base in spring.

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

 

Flowers

Multiple slender flower stalks, 15 to 14 inches (6 to 36 cm) tall, with the terminal 1.5 to 4.5 inches (4 to 12 cm) having spaced clusters of tiny lavender or violet (to white) flowers, with yellow centers, opening at different times above the leaves in late summer. Tepals are purple or lilac-purple, elliptic-oblong, 3.5-4 mm long and 1.5-1.8 mm wide.  Flowering normally occurs in between July-August.

Flower color Lilac, purple
Flower characteristic Summer flowering

 

Fruit and seeds

Fertile flowers are followed by spherical, green, berrylike drupes turn blue ripening to black purple, 0.2 to 0.3 inch (6 to 8 mm) wide. Fruit has a grapelike skin and little to no pulp and contain a single spherical dark seed.

Fruit shape Round
Fruit length Less than .5 inch
Fruit cover Fleshy
Fruit color Black
Fruit characteristic Showy

 

Cultivars

Listed below are some of the well-known cultivars of Lily turf

Big Blue lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’)

It grows 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. It produces lavender to blue flowers. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Majestic lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Majestic’)

This cultivar grows 12 to 15 inches tall and wide. Its flowers are deep lavender to violet. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Monroe’s White lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Monroe’s White’)

It grows 14 to 18 inches tall and wide and produces white flowers. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Royal Purple lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’)

This cultivar grows 12 to 18 inches tall and wide and produces deep purple flowers. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Silvery Sunproof lily-turf (Liriope muscari ‘Silvery Sunproof’)

This has green leaves with cream-colored edges that grow nine to 15 inches tall and wide. Although the hardiness zone is 5-10, it may need to be in a protected area in northern areas of zone 5.

Traditional uses and benefits of Lilyturf

  • Candied tubers can be eaten as tonic and aphrodisiac.
  • In China, decoction of tubers is used to fortify the lungs, for coughs, fevers and dysentery.
  • In Chinese traditional medicine, it is used for asthma, bronchial and lung inflammation.
  • It is also used as tonic to moisten yin.
  • The root is anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, aphrodisiac, pectoral and stimulant.
  • It is used as a tonic in Korea to increase stamina and also as an expectorant.

Other facts

  • The roots, which often have fleshy tubers near their tip, are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • It is a good drought tolerant evergreen ground cover plant.
  • Plants should be spaced about 30 cm apart each way.

References:

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/liriope_muscari.htm

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/115335

https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=l100

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=503501#null

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liriope_muscari

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-280317

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Lilyturf.html

https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Liriope+muscari

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/LRIMU

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Lily%20Turf.html

http://hort.ufl.edu/shrubs/LIRMUSA.PDF

https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=LIMU6

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