En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Native alternatives to St. Augustine for under an Arizona Ash
October 12, 2006 - I live in Mansfield, TX. We have a large Arizona Ash tree in our back yard. No grass will grow under it. We are thinking of laying sod (St. Augustine) there. Is this a good solution and if so, whe...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
May 04, 2014 - I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to withstand dog traffic in Michigan
November 02, 2010 - I need a soft ground cover that will grow in sand, and be able to take four big dogs that love to run in the yard. Grass just doesn't make it. Someone suggested that groundcover might work. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Weed and feed for buffalograss
October 30, 2007 - What is a good winterizer or weed & feed for buffalo grass? I live in Southwest Austin.
view the full question and answer

Surface tree roots hurting grass in Houston
March 21, 2013 - We have 2 mature Arizona Ash trees in our yard (30-40'). One of them is in a sunnier location and has developed an extensive network of surface roots (up to 1 to 1 1/2" Dia.) between the tree and th...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center