En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Native alternative for liriope

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

Tuesday - September 20, 2011

From: Washington, DC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Lists, Ferns, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native alternative for liriope
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for native alternatives to liriope for use in sun to part shade, moderate moisture planting beds. Would prefer evergreen options.

ANSWER:

Sedges would be a good choice.  They have a similar form to liriope, but without colorful flowers.  Many are evergreen and will grow in a combination of sun and shade.  Here are several that grow in the Washington DC area:

Carex blanda (Eastern woodland sedge) and here are more photos and information.

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) and here are more photos and information.

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) and here are more photos and information.

Here are some other choices for the DC area that are evergreen and are about the same size as liriope, although they don't have the same general shape:

Packera aurea (Golden ragwort) and here are more photos and information.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) and here are more photos and information.

Dryopteris cristata (Crested woodfern) and here are more photos and information.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern woodland sedge
Carex blanda

Eastern woodland sedge
Carex blanda

Pennsylvania sedge
Carex pensylvanica

Pennsylvania sedge
Carex pensylvanica

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Golden groundsel
Packera aurea

Golden groundsel
Packera aurea

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Crested woodfern
Dryopteris cristata

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native flower bed with part sun
December 05, 2008 - I have recently put in three small flower beds and replaced the hard clay with decent dirt. The site is shaded in the AM but mostly sun in the PM. I would like to plant natives - what can you recommen...
view the full question and answer

Inland sea oats as backfrop for pigeon berry
August 20, 2007 - I am thinking of using inland sea oats as a backdrop for pigeon berry (Rivina humilis) in a shady area along my foundation. Will this combination work, or will the sea oats outcompete the pigeon berr...
view the full question and answer

Replacing junipers on slope with wildlife garden
October 23, 2008 - Gradual replacement of Juniper with natives? We have a 10 foot deep slope with less than a 45 degree angle that is all covered with old, overgrown Juniper. It does not appear to serve any purpose ...
view the full question and answer

Perennial ground cover for hillside in Holmdel NJ
April 25, 2014 - I live in NJ. I would like to use a perennial ground cover for my landscaping bed on a hill with full sun and deer resistant. It's a good size landscaping bed that is facing east (southeast). What...
view the full question and answer

Developing fields with native plants from New Egypt NJ
July 24, 2013 - I have several acres of fields that I want to develop with native grasses and flowers. I would like to know the best time to mow the fields so that bushes and volunteer trees don't take over and that...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center