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Appalachian Gay Feather Liatris squarrulosa

Description

Appalachian blazing star is a native herbaceous perennial plant in the Asteraceae (daisy) family.  It is found in the central and southeastern United States in meadows and prairies. Plant it in full sun to partial shade in medium to dry soils with good drainage.  

The multiple small disc flowers appear in heads arranged on an unbranched stem and bloom mid-summer into fall. It prefers sandy to rocky loams that are well-drained in full sun. It is drought and poor soils tolerant and can be used in the back of the border of native pollinator gardens, cottage or rock gardens and they attract many pollinators.

This plant was selected as the 1998 NC Wildflower of the Year, a program managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden with some financial support from the Garden Club of North Carolina.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#purple flowers#corms#native perennials#NC native#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#food source fall#nectar plant fall#food source nectar#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-summer#food source mid-summer#NC Wildflower of the Year
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#purple flowers#corms#native perennials#NC native#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#food source fall#nectar plant fall#food source nectar#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-summer#food source mid-summer#NC Wildflower of the Year
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Liatris
    Species:
    squarrulosa
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN, TX, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Attacts pollinators to the flowers
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Tan achene with barbed hairs
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Multiple small disc flowers in button-like heads of pinkish-purple flowers. Individual tubular flowers have 5 petals and long stamens. The heads are either sessile or have short thick stems. The bracts are scale-like and green to tinged purple. Blooms July to October.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The lower green leaves are narrow oblanceolate and up to 11 inches long and .5 inches wide. They become much smaller and oblanceolate to linear as they go alternately up the stem. They are sessile and smooth, hairy or scaly with a single midrib.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are ridged with short hairs and unbranched. They are green to purple-tinged near the top.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    English Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil