Liatris spicata (Blazing Star)

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!
Introduced and naturalized in NY, MA, CT, native to Midwest and South East US:  Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).

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