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

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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for narrow planter boxes in San Antonio
October 02, 2010 - We have a narrow flower planter box in three sections above a french drain in front of our house. The box is about 2 feet high (filled with Gardenville soil) above a french drain covered with filter ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
July 04, 2008 - I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very health...
view the full question and answer

Effects or insecticide on Monarch butterflies
July 28, 2013 - Thank you for fielding questions about plants!! Our nursery just informed us that their milkweed grower was using imidacloprid in their milkweed production. As a follow up to the question already in...
view the full question and answer

Need Native Plants for Ditch Stabilization in Texarkana, Arkansas
September 14, 2010 - I live in Texarkana, Arkansas. I have a ditch near the street in my front yard that is approximately 90-100 ft. long. It gets full sun. There is a lot of clay and rocks in the ditch. I need to fin...
view the full question and answer

Plants for narrow strip between sidewalk and fence
May 01, 2008 - I have a strip of land about 5 inches wide and 30 feet long -- between the fence and the sidewalk -- that I would like to plant something that would look nice and wouldn't require the weedeater every...
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