Valued for its showy fluffy vertical flower spikes contrasting with a lush, grassy foliage, Gayfeather or Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) is a pretty addition to the perennial border when planted in small clusters of 2 to 3 plants. Interestingly flowering from the top down, in shades of purple, rosy red or white, its button-shaped flowers resemble blazing stars (hence its common name) and attract lovely butterflies. With a long season of interest from mid summer to fall, it creates outstanding combinations with the warm golds of Rudbeckia or the pink blossoms of Phlox paniculata.
- Growing in decorative upright clumps from tuberous roots, up to 2-4 feet tall (60-120 cm), it thrives in full sun and prefers average, moist, fertile, well-drained soils. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity, it is a prolific self-sower.
- Low maintenance and highly disease-free, this plant is also drought tolerant.
- An excellent choice for perennial borders, cottage gardens, native plant gardens or containers. Great as fresh cut flowers or in dried arrangements!
- Deer and rabbit resistant, it attracts scores of butterflies and hummingbirds
- Taller varieties might require staking. 'Kobold' is a great, compact cultivar whose flowers bloom longer and tend to stay upright, even in rain or wind.
- Cut back to the basal leaves after flowering.