Where Commonly Found: Gardens, fields, meadows, swales, edges of marshes, CT, ME
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Liatris spicata.
Missouri Botanical Garden website for Liatris spicata.
Flower Type: Dense spikes, 4″-18″ long, flower heads, 1/3″ across, with 4-10 disk purple/pink florets of tubular corolloa, much more crowded, even overlapping, than Liatris aspera. The style is deeply divided and string-like. Flower time is mid-July to mid-August.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate leaves can be so dense as to appear whorled. Basal leaves may wither away by flowering time.
Leaf Type: 1/3″ across and up to 10″ long, becoming smaller further up the stem. Leaves are linear with smooth, entire margins and a distinct central vein. Surfaces are medium green and glabrous to sparsely hairy.
Height: 2′ – 4′
Seed Collection: Florets are replaced by small achenes with light brown stiff bristles. Cut horizontally through the flower stem spike 1/4″ above the first or second set of leaves. Allow flower stems to dry, spread out, at room temperature for 1 – 2 weeks. Rub on 1/4″ wire mesh to allow chaff and seeds to fall through. Store cool, dry.
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Use: Garden, Rain Garden
Light: Full Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8 USDA Zone Map
Soils: Dry to Wet
Notes: Blazing Star is a fine garden spike flower providing high value late season nectar for bees, butterflies and hummingbird. Great cut flower!
Native to NY, MA, CT, Midwest and South East US: Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).