Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 13, 2008

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Evergreen native replacement for liriope
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is a good native replacement for Liriope that is evergreen?

ANSWER:

There are several things we don't know about your question. Is the area to be in sun or shade? Is it a low-growing border or a ground cover? Or perhaps just something to fill an empty bed or as background for blooming annuals? Liriope muscari is sometimes called "monkey grass" but is not a grass, instead is a member of the lily family. It is a native to shady forest floors in China, Taiwan, and Japan.

We are going to go to Recommended Species for North Central Texas and select several perennials of various types. You can then follow our links to the Native Plant Database and read the information on that specific plant to see if it serves your purposes. Our selections are not going to look like liriope, and some may be semi-evergreen in Dallas. The evergreen requirement is probably the hardest to achieve. Especially the herbaceous perennials, blooming plants, will die back close to the ground and dead material will need to be cleaned up. The grasses will hold their spot and be attractive during most of the Winter, but will also need to be trimmed as new growth appears. You can use the same technique to make your own selections.

HERBS (HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - evergreen to semi-evergreen, to 12" tall, sun to part shade, blooms March to June

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) - to 18" tall, bloom March to July, sun

Ruellia caroliniensis (Carolina wild petunia) - 1 to 3' tall, bloom June to August, part shade

Viola missouriensis (Missouri violet) - part shade to shade, low growing

SHRUBS

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) - poisonous berries, sun, sprawling, blooms April to October

GRASSES

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2 - 3' tall, sun to shade, blooms June to November

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - 2 to 4' tall, part shade to shade

VINE

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) - creeping groundcover or climbing vine, sun to shade


Callirhoe involucrata

Oenothera speciosa

Ruellia caroliniensis

Viola missouriensis

Lantana urticoides

Bouteloua curtipendula

Chasmanthium latifolium

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

 

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Does Calyptocarpus vialis (Horseherb) compete with turf grasses
October 05, 2015 - For my yard in central Austin Does horse herb, Calyptocarpus vialis help or damage the growth of native short grasses? The grasses include Curly Mesquite and Blue Gamma planted early in the spring or...
view the full question and answer

Will Thunder Turf do well in shade from Iola TX
June 23, 2010 - Will the Thunder Turf do well in shady areas or is there a better blend of native grasses that would thrive better?
view the full question and answer

Tropical Texas landscape from Houston
March 04, 2013 - Do you know of any public (or at least photographed) place in Texas that has been landscaped entirely with native "tropical-looking" (i.e. evergreen but NOT conifer and NOT succulent/arid) species? ...
view the full question and answer

Drought affecting non-native Zoysia grass in Austin
November 06, 2011 - Due to the extreme drought here in Austin this year and the watering restrictions our Zoysia lawn has suffered and appears to be dead in many areas of our lawn. Will it come back? Is there anything w...
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants for cemetery site
February 09, 2005 - I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.