Liriope muscari (Decne.) L.H. Bailey
Big Blue Lilyturf
CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 1
Family - Liliaceae
Habit - Perennial forb, growing in clumps to 50 cm high, the roots fibrous and sometimes tuberous.
Stem - Aerial stems absent.
Leaves - Numerous, arching, straplike, 1.0-1.5 cm wide, glabrous, the venation parallel.
Inflorescences - Spikelike racemes borne above the foliage, typically with 2-5 flowers occurring at each inflorescence node, these borne on short stalks.
Flowers - Perianth 6-parted, light purple. Stamens 6.
Fruits - Blackish berries.
Flowering - August - October.
Habitat - Lawns, gardens, disturbed areas. Frequently cultivated as ground cover.
Origin - Native to Asia.
Lookalikes - Other species of Liriope. More distantly, species of Muscari.
Other info. - Though frequently cultivated as ground cover, this species rarely escapes in Missouri. It has been reported from widely scattered locations in the southeastern U.S., but is infrequent outside of cultivation. The plant is recognized by its tufts (or solid expanse) of straplike leaves and its small lilac-colored spikelike inflorescences. Though there is some superficial resemblance to species of Muscari, close examination shows the flowers to be very different. The specific identity of the plants shown above is not completely certain.
Photographs taken near Labadie, Franklin County, MO, 9-4-2020 and 8-18-2021 (SRTurner).