Dense Blazing Star
Dense Blazing Star, Liatris spicata, has long-lasting purple wands of packed blooms that face all directions and bloom from the top of the stem down from midsummer to fall. The blooms resemble feather boas held upright on numerous spikes per plant. Although it lacks smell, Dense Blazing Star will please your other senses: the purple flowers add a visual exclamation point to the garden; your ears will be humming with the sound of delighted bees; and your fingers will love delving through the fuzzy late summer blossoms.
Most Liatris species mature plants have a corm or bulb-like root. They do not spread or create vast colonies from the roots, but instead reseed where they are comfortable. Tubers in mature clumps can be dug out and split to propagate new plants. Seeds on a Liatris stem ripen in sequence and fluff out. To disseminate the seeds in the same way that dandelions do, each seed has some hairs attached as a parachute.
Quick Growing Guide
Botanical Name: Liatris spicata
Also Called: Marsh Blazing Star, Button Snakewort
En français: Liatris à épi
See More Plants in this Botanical Family:
Water: Needs to stay moist
Ripe seeds may germinate immediately. If sown when young, otherwise, they will germinate in the spring, or they can be gathered and seeded after 90 days of stratification or cold treatment in the spring.
Liatris species generally have no serious pest or disease problems. [credit]
Liatris Attracts Pollinators
This plant is loved by pollinators! Bumblebees, long-horned bees, leaf-cutting bees, butterflies, and skippers pollinate the flowerheads. These insects feed on nectar, but some bees gather pollen for their larvae.
Dense Blazing Star is deer-resistant.
Tea produced from blazing star roots is used as a folk cure for a variety of internal diseases, including kidney and bladder difficulties, gonorrhea, colic, and delayed menstruation, as well as a gargle for sore throats. Blazingstar was also used in a snakebite poultice.
Where to Use Dense Blazing Star
Dense Blazing Star is endemic to moist prairies, marsh regions, grassland savannahs, and wet places between sand dunes, meadows, and abandoned fields in Ontario and North America. This plant prefers open, sunny places that are kept open by fire, floods, drought, or grazing. It would be ideal for a cottage landscape, wildlife garden, or pollinator garden.
It also looks good as part of a cut flower arrangement.
Cultivars are available both with pink and white flowers and reach a height of 2 feet, 60 cm.
As a Houseplant and in Containers
The dense, blazingstar is an unusual but striking houseplant. In containers, consider using the shorter cultivar. They flourish in bright, long-lasting sunlight and should be positioned no more than one foot away from a window. In containers, it requires frequent watering and soil that drains well. Simply repot your plant every time it doubles in size; you shouldn’t need to apply fertiliser.
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