800px-Lilyturf Liriope spicata Patch 3008px
LyriopeSpicata wb.jpg
Young variegated Liriope spicata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Unranked: Angiosperms
Unranked: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Ruscaceae
Genus: Liriope

Liriope is a genus of low, grass-like, flowering plants from East Asia. Some species are often used in landscaping in temperate latitudes. They may be called lilyturf in North America although neither a true grass (family Poaceae) nor lily (genus Lilium). Once classified with lilies in the family Liliaceae, the genus is included in Ruscaceae in the APG II system. The genus was named for Liriope in Greek mythology.


Liriope are usually used in the garden for their evergreen foliage as a groundcover. Some species, e.g., L. spicata, grow aggressively in the right conditions, spreading by runners; hence their nickname, "creeping lilyturf".

In the southeastern United States Liriope is sometimes referred to by the nickname monkey grass or spider grass.

The pronunciation of "Liriope" varies. The expected pronunciation is Template:IPA-en Template:Respell,[1] but there are many regional variations. In the southern United States, for example, it may be pronounced Template:IPA-en Template:Respell, Template:IPA-en Template:Respell, or Template:IPA-en Template:Respell.


Liriope muscari is perhaps most widespread in cultivation and is considered appropriate for USDA Hardiness Zones 6-10.[2]

Spikes of tiny violet-blue flowers appear in late summer, and will be more prolific with a dose or two of fertilizer early in the season. A number of variegated varieties are now available to add golden or silver flashes of color to shady situations.



  1. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition
  2. Hortus III, Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium, 1976