Liatris spicata-Blazing Star, Gay Feather

Liatris spicata (Blazing Star) after I brought it home on 6-6-17, #342-8.

Blazing Star, Gay Feather

Liatris spicata

ly-AT-riss  spi-KAH-tuh

Liatris spicata (L.) Willd. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species. It was named and described as such by Carl Ludwig Willdenow in Species Plantarum, 4th edition, in 1803. It was first described as Serratula spicata by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

The genus, Liatris Gaertn. ex Schreb., was described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in Genera Plantarum (short version) in 1791. The genus was previously named and described by Joseph Gaertner. Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 38 accepted species in the Liatris genus (as of 2-21-19 when I am updating this page).

 

Liatris spicata on 6-11-17, #343-28.

I bought my Liatris spicata from Wagler’s Greenhouse in the spring of 2017. I had rejuvenated the south bed and extended the corner a little which is where I planted it.

 

Liatris spicata on 6-18-17, #345-35.

As with all plants, it seems to take forever for their puds to open. This one just kept getting taller and taller! Liatris prefer fertile soil but will be OK in any old soil as long as it is well-draining. They do NOT like wet soil in the winter, however. This plant is considered a herbaceous perennial but spread by corms. You can buy plants, corms, or even seed although seed-grown plants may be somewhat harder to get established.

They are drought tolerant once established but need regular water, especially the first season, to get their roots well established.

 

Liatris spicata on 6-24-17, #349-55. That’s Harvey in the background. He was a Black Breasted Red Old English Game Bantam and a good friend. He had a fox for a visitor one night and that was the end…

USEFUL INFORMATION:
Family: Asteraceae
Origin: Eastern United States
Zones: USDA Zones 3a-10b (-40 to 35° F)
Size: 24-48” tall
Light: Full sun
Soil: Average, well-drained soil is OK but prefers moist fertile soil. Intolerant of wet soil in the winter.
Water: Average water needs

 

Liatris spicata on 7-9-17, #355-30.

Once their flowers fade, the show is over. They need companion plants nearby for extended interest in the flower bed. I had transplanted ‘Brocade’ Marigolds in this bed which soon filled in the whole area and completely covered up the Liatris.

 

Liatris spicata on 7-19-17, #357-49.

Well, that’s it for the photos of the Liatris. I may buy more of these to make more of a mass planting.

The Liatris spicata did not return in the spring of 2018 and I didn’t see any at the local greenhouses. Maybe in 2019…

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading.

FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
WIKIPEDIA (GENUS/SPECIES)
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
DAVE’S GARDEN
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN
PFAF (PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
GO BOTANY
GARDENERS HQ

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