Liriope muscari 'PeeDee Ingot' at the UT Gardens, Jackson

Golden monkey grass is no ordinary ground cover. Experts with the University of Tennessee Gardens say 'PeeDee Ingot' has a luminous quality that elevates the cultivar's foliage to an art form. Photo by C. Reese of a specimen in the UT Gardens, Jackson. Download image


UT Gardens Plant of the Month for June 2014:
Golden monkey grass

Submitted by Carol Reese, UT Extension horticulture specialist, Western Region


Promoting a monkey grass for plant of the month? Seriously?

Well, this is no ordinary ground cover. Liriope muscari 'PeeDee Ingot' has luminous golden foliage that elevates monkey grass to an art form. Individual clumps will average a bit more than a foot tall and eventually twice that wide, but never become aggressive.

The tousled mounds provide a burst of color and grassy texture, particularly effective near blue or purple flowers or dark foliaged companions. While PeeDee Ingot will thrive in shade as well as sun, the gold color will dim when deprived of sunlight. On the other hand, a site too bright and dry will bleach or sear the foliage. For best display, look for the happy medium.

Like most liriope, the foliage stays effective through the winter, though will be bedraggled by winter's end. At that time, give it a drastic crew cut and fresh foliage will quickly emerge. In mid to late summer, linear stalks of small lilac-blue flowers add another layer of interest.

Easily grown in Zones 6-10, this long-lived perennial is notably free of problems. Only poorly drained soil would give it trouble. As a bonus, clumps can be dug and divided to increase your golden treasure.

Several nice specimens can be found in the beds just north of the parking lot at the UT Gardens, Jackson, and should be in perfect form during the gardens annual Summer Celebration, held each year on the second Thursday in July. For more information about the Summer Celebration visit the website west.tennessee.edu

Carol Reese is the Western Region Ornamental Horticulture Specialist for University of Tennessee Extension. Her office is located in the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson. The UT Gardens include plant collections located in Knoxville, Jackson and Crossville. Designated as the official botanical garden for the State of Tennessee, the collections are part of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Their mission is to foster appreciation, education and stewardship of plants through garden displays, educational programs and research trials. The gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public. See utgardens.tennessee.edu for more information.

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Contact:

Carol Reese, UT Extension, 731-425-4767, jreese5@utk.edu

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