Virtues: We love Liatris spicata for its wand-like spikes that bloom with clusters of radiant, feathery purple flower heads throughout late summer and early fall, atop rigid, upright stems over clumps of grass-like foliage.
Common name: Blazing star, dense blazing star, marsh blazing star, gayfeather, snakeroot
Botanical name: Liatris spicata
Flowers: During late summer and early fall, bundles of whimsical, tassel-like flower heads bloom atop long spikes in striking hues of reddish-purple, lavender and white. Flower heads consist of disk flowers, with no ray flowers, that appear like beautiful stars, giving rise to its namesake of “blazing stars”.
Foliage: Clumps of linear, fuzzy, light green grass-like leaves appear at the base of the plant. Leaves decrease in size as they rise up the stem, offering an intriguing backdrop for the charming flowers.
Habit: Herbaceous perennial. With an upright habit, blazing stars typically grow 2 to 4 feet tall and can spread 1 to 2 feet.
Season: With their intriguing flowers, these butterfly- and hummingbird-loving perennials look stunning throughout late summer and early fall.
Origin: Eastern North America.
How to grow Liatris spicata: Blazing star thrives in moist, well-drained sandy loam soil, but will grow successfully in most soils. They prosper in full to part sun with regular watering. USDA Zones 3–10.
Image credit and source
Download the Garden How-To University: Growing Perennials for great advice on how to achieve a thriving perennial garden.
In Gardening with Perennials Month by Month peruse through monthly blooming schedules and growing requirements for over 700 perennials.
Plan a flower garden with season-round beauty by reading The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom.
Love having a yard full of singing birds? In Gardening For the Birds, learn how to create a bird-friendly backyard.
The Fisher Blacksmithing 5 piece Tool Set looks as if it belongs in a museum but are great, sturdy handcrafted gardening tools perfect for working in the yard.