Liriope and Ophiopogon are tough shade plants often used as ground covers in the garden.
Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is a dark green grass like plant that is actually in the lily family. It creeps slowly with underground rhizomes becoming a dense shade loving groundcover. It can get 6” tall and has purplish flowers rarely.
Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’) usually is less than 3″ tall and slow growing. Here it is with small flowers. It is excellent for growing between stepping stones in the shade.
If planted in too much
sun Mondo Grass leaves will become yellow. However it will tolerate a fair amount of drought because of water storage tubers on the roots.
Dwarf Mondo Grass is good for planting between steppingstones. It gets about 3″ tall with little traffic and about 2″ with regular foot traffic.
Dwarf Mondo grass is very slow growing. This patch was planted from a 4″ pot 10 years ago.
Big Blue Lily Turf (Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’) Blooms in late summer. They are 12-15″ clumps of shade loving plants related to Mondo Grass; they look great placed in groups around rocks or along water courses. They do not spread like Mondo Grass.
Royal Purple Lily Turf (Liriope Muscari ‘Royal Purple’)
Sunproof Lily Turf (Liriope muscari ‘Silvery Sunproof’) can tolerate more sun and is a good accent.
Creeping Lily Turf (Liriope spicata) is a slow growing shade groundcover that can become invasive. The best treatment is like this – between paving and a wall. (Photo taken on a New England Garden tour)