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propagating perennials: Liatris-Gay Feather, Blazing Star
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Liatris-Gay Feather, Blazing Star

Liatris varieties can either be a fleshy corm, like Bearded Iris, but slower growers or a rhizome so either way it is an easy plant to propagate by transplanting the rooted rhizome or by dividing the corm in the spring. Butterflies and honeybees are attracted to the blooms throughout the summer, they can reach 5', and in the first year they prefer a moist soil to establish a strong root system but there after are almost drought resistant, fertilize in the spring, but they do not like a very rich moist soil or the blooms will have a tendency to be weak and topple and they come in white, blue, pink, or purple, planted preferably in full sun and are deciduous. What is unique about Liatris is that the flowers bloom from the top down so they are great for cut flowers or for drying, cut when the blooms are half open and hang upside down for three weeks or use silica-gel. They grow naturally in the tall grass prairies from North Dakota to Florida to Texas so when you are driving the Interstates in late summer to early autumn and wonder what that bluish/purplish flower is off in the distance it’s a good chance it is Liatris especially in Missouri. Generally Liatris is deer resistant.

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