Liriope spicata-Monkey Grass

Liriope spicata in the backyard at the mansion on 7-4-12, #108-101.

Monkey Grass

Liriope spicata

lih-RY-oh-pee spih-KAY-tah

Liriope spicata (Thunb.) Lour. is the correct and accepted scientific name for Monkey Grass. It was described as such by João de Loureiro Flora Cochinchinensis in 1790. It was first described as Convallaria spicata by Carl Peter Thunberg in Systema Vegetabilium in 1784.

The Liriope spicata was one of the original plants at the mansion in Mississippi. They were growing almost all the way around the old fish pool in the backyard.

Common Name: Monkey Grass, Creeping Liriope
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Origin: China and Vietnam
Zones: USDA Zones 4-10
Soil: average, medium, well-drained soil
Size: 1-1 1/2” tall
Flowers: Produces lavender to white flowers in August through September
Light: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Propagation: Can spread aggressively by underground rhizomes. Easily transplanted.

The genus name is named after the Greek woodland nymph, Liriope, who was the mother of Narcissus. The species name means spike-bearing.

I didn’t bring any of these with me when I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri. I do know where I can get a start, though.

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