As we move towards late July we see a whole range of new plants coming to the fore. Many of these have their origin on prairie grasslands. One such plant is Liatris (common names Gay Feather or Blazing Star) which has its origins in the eastern United States of America.
Liatris is a hardy perennial which produces a number of thin, upright spikes of flowers growing out of clumps of narrow, grass-like leaves. Both the purple and white versions are currently looking good in the garden despite the hot dry weather.
Rather surprisingly perhaps, Liatris is a member of the Asteraceae (the daisy family). The flower spikes open from the top downwards and so if being used for arranging need to be cut early before the top of the flower spike has begun to turn brown. In the garden this is less important and the flowers bring colour to the border for much longer. Liatris provides good, strong vertical interest in both the border and in floral arrangements.
The plants die back completely in the winter and so it is useful to mark their position to avoid disturbing them when preparing the beds for other plants over the winter months. Propagation by division in the spring is very straight forward and you will bulk up your plants very quickly. They seem to thrive best when grown in full sun in moisture retentive soil but even in the parched soil of 2018 they still seem to be surviving pretty well.
As a cut flower the Liatris has a long vase life if conditioned correctly. Nothing special is required, simply cut in the early morning and condition in cool water with flower food. It is particularly important to remove any leaves blow the water level as these will discolour the water.
Latin name: Liatris spicata
Height: 60cm – 90cm
Origin: Eastern USA
Flowering period: July to September
Honey Pot Flowers are wedding and celebration florists based in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom specialising in natural, locally grown seasonal flowers. We grow many of our own flowers allowing us to offer something very different and uniquely personal.
One thought on “Liatris”
That’s so pretty! And a little bit comical, which is important in a garden! I’ve never grown liatris, but will look out for it now.
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