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Cattail Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
lie-A-tris pik-no-STAK-ee-uh
Description

Prairie Blazing Star is an herbaceous perennial in the Asteraceae family. Often grown as an ornamental, prairie blazing star reaches a maximum height of 5 feet but usually 2-4 feet. The purple disc flowers arranged in heads, are crowded on a coarse, hairy, leafy stem and bloom from top to bottom.  The bracts below the heads have long pointed purplish tips that distinguish it from other species. The prairie blazing star is native to the central and southeastern United States where it prefers moist to dry, well-drained soils with full sun exposure. It may also be found in damp prairies and tolerates poor soils, drought and heat conditions. It does not tolerate wet winter soils.

Grow this plant in full sun in average well-drained moist to occasionally dry soil. Perfect for home gardens in the back of the border or in groups for cottage gardens, rock gardens, naturalized areas and pollinator gardens. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies and birds will eat the seeds.

More information on Liatris.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#wildlife plant#purple flowers#cottage garden#summer interest#rock gardens#groups#border back#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#wildlife plant#purple flowers#cottage garden#summer interest#rock gardens#groups#border back#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-summer#nectar plant late summer
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Liatris
    Species:
    pycnostachya
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AR , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MI , MN , MO , MS , ND , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SD , TX , WI
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant attracts bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. Birds will eat the seeds.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Achenes with light brown hairs. Seeds distributed by the wind.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Spike of .5 in. rose-purple to violet-lavender, cylindrical, stalkless flower heads crowded on a coarse, hairy, very leafy stem. The bracts below the heads have long pointed purplish tips. Flower heads consist of many small disc flowers with 5 lobes and 2 long curly styles.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The basal leaves grow from a corm and are up to 12 inches long and .5 inches wide. They become progressively shorter as they grow alternately up the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The stout green stem has numerous small longitudinal ridges and has scattered white hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Humidity