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 Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native plants that are dog-proof in South Texas
July 13, 2008 - I live in Odem, Texas and would like to use only native plants in my front and backyard. I have two puppies who love to dig. What plants should I use that require minimal attention from me and will no...
view the full question and answer

Setaria scheelei grass for San Antonio
March 21, 2011 - It seems that ornamental grasses for dry shady places are few and far between. Southwestern Bristlegrass (Setaria scheelei) is exactly what I'm looking for and would solve all my problems! Only I c...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for eroding hillside in Kansas
May 08, 2009 - We have a creek running thru our property and the hill running down to it is about 30 feet tall, in some places almost straight down, some sloping. Some is in shade, some full sun. We would like som...
view the full question and answer

Groups promoting Edible Grasses
June 08, 2011 - Is there a group of people who want to study and grow edible grasses? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Best time to plant Habiturf in Austin
February 20, 2012 - When is the best time to plant Habiturf seeds?
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