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Liatris spicata

Description

Liatris spicata, commonly called blazing star, dense blazing star or marsh blazing star, is a tall, upright, clump-forming perennial which is native to moist low grounds, meadows and marsh margins. It typically grows 2-4' tall in cultivation, but can reach a height of 6' in some parts of its native habitat. 

Liatris belongs to the aster family, with each flower head having only fluffy disk flowers (resembling "blazing stars") and no ray flowers. The feathery flower heads of liatris give rise to another common name of gayfeather.

It is a beautiful American wildflower which was brought to Europe, popularized as a cut flower and perennial, and then returned to popularity in the USA.

Beautiful when planted in mass in perennial borders, native plant gardens, cottage gardens, and prairie areas.

 

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms: Summer, Late summer             Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Taller plants may require staking or other support.

Cultivars:
  • Alba
  • 'Kobold'
Tags:
#native#butterflies#pollinators#rain garden#drought tolerant#herbs#perennial bulb#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#cut flowers#low maintenance#dried flowers#ncemgva2018#cpp#perennials
Cultivars:
  • Alba
  • 'Kobold'
Tags:
#native#butterflies#pollinators#rain garden#drought tolerant#herbs#perennial bulb#wildlife plant#wildflowers#showy#cut flowers#low maintenance#dried flowers#ncemgva2018#cpp#perennials
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Liatris
    Species:
    spicata
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to butterflies and other pollinators. Goldfinches eat the seeds with relish.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Blazing star features terminal spikes (6-12" long) of sessile, rounded, fluffy, deep purple or white flower heads (each to 3/4" across) appearing atop rigid, erect, leafy flower stalks. The flowers occur in tight clusters with 7 to 10 petals per head. The flowers often lack a stem. Liatris is unusual in flowering from the top to the bottom of the spike.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Blazing star has one or more stalks arising from a basal tuft of narrow, grass-like, medium green leaves (to 12" long). The stem leaves gradually decrease in size toward the top. The leaves are alternate and linear with a smooth margin.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought