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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.

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

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Tuesday - August 16, 2011

From: Bonifay, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Managing Roadsides, Non-Natives, Erosion Control
Title: Liriope spicata for erosion and dust suppression from Bonifay FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to plant Liriope 'spicata'. I know it can be aggressive and that's what I want. We live on dirt road and need something by road for help in erosion and it's also hard to mow this area. Also it will be in full sun mostly. But my ?? is will it blow from seed into my neighbors yard across the road. Need something FAST growing as long as it stays in our yard. Hope it just spreads by rhizomes?? Have thought about mondo grass as well. Thank you SO much for your help.

ANSWER:

We can't help you much. Both Liriope 'spicata' and 'mondo grass' are basically the same plant, and both are non-native. They do spread by rhizomes and are "slowly aggressive," according to this Ohio State University Horticulture article on Liriope spicata (read the whole article). We extracted Culture information:

  • partial sun to full shade
  • performs best in moist, fertile soils in partial shade, but will tolerate very dry, poor, and thin soils in sunny or shady sites
  • propagated primarily by division of the many adjoining crown segments

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively; this plant is native to Asia. Please read our How-To Article on Using Native Plants.

 

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