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Liriope: A clumping plant with a striking color combination for the landscape

Shady gardens benefit from the Pure Blonde Lirilope from SLPC, as it brightens even the darkest part of a shade garden.
Shady gardens benefit from the Pure Blonde Lirilope from SLPC, as it brightens even the darkest part of a shade garden.Courtesy of SLPC.com

This North Georgia trial garden plant is a "Pure Blonde Liriope" from Southern Living Plant Collection. It starts out the year in the springtime producing bright white blades of color, transitioning to deep dark green blades in summer, when the heat temperature increases. The color change is its mechanism for survival. Then, if you cut back the plant in late summer, it will return to the shocking white color for you by August or September.

Pure Blonde Liriope goes from a total white-colored plant in spring to a deep green in summer, when the heat increases. It can be pruned in late summer to produce white blades again for August and September.
Pure Blonde Liriope goes from a total white-colored plant in spring to a deep green in summer, when the heat increases. It can be pruned in late summer to produce white blades again for August and September.Courtesy of Constancekmorrisphotography.com

It is a striking plant, lending the garden a unique color change between seasons, and adding a focal element that begs for attention from even the most bored passerby. It is a simple and small plant, which lends itself for use in a container garden, which the Tennessean recommends plant lovers consider if they do not have a green thumb. But you don't have to have gardening know-how to make this easy-to-grow plant work for you.

The Pure Blonde Liriope also makes a great accent border for the driveway or home entrance, so you might want use it to draw attention away from landscape issues located elsewhere in the lawn by putting it closer to home. But don't neglect to appreciate how it can improve and brighten a shady part of the garden, too, with its white blades a great contrast in early spring to the vivid greens elsewhere.

In its place in the North Ga. trial garden the clumping plant is situated beneath the leaf-covered branches of a large tree, additionally shielded from the sun on one side by the wall of a structure on the property. So it receives some morning sun, but little afternoon rays. It is thriving in this environment, requiring minimal water.

Southern Living Plant Collection says this Pure Blonde Liriope plant typically stays white in color for up to three months, slowly turning back to the vivid dark green blade shade in summer. That has proven accurate in the trial garden, with mid-June showing the plant a mix of white and green blades as of June 19, 2014.