Liatris spicata, (Dense) Blazing Star, Gayfeather

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Tall and upright, Gayfeather provides nice vertical form in a garden. Its purplish, feathery flower spikes contrast well with yellow-flowered, mound-forming plants. Its widely scattered natural populations in the Mid-Atlantic Region* include those in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudon counties.

Print Version: Liatris spicata, (Dense) Blazing Star, Gayfeather,
Liatris spicata, (Dense) Blazing Star, Gayfeather,   Perennial No serious pests or diseases; deer seldom severely damage (may browse mature plants); small herbivores like young plants; voles may eat corms Height: 1–4 feet Spread: 1–11⁄2 feet Bloom Color: Pink-purple or white Characteristics Erect, unbranched, clump-forming perennial Basal tuft of dark green, grass-like leaves, 12 inches long Spikes of fluffy purplish flower heads July and August bloom from the top down on rigid stems Attributes Tolerates clay soil, drought, heat, and humidity; Intolerant of waterlogged, winter soils Good cut and dried flower Ethnobotanic and therapeutic uses Attracts bees, butterflies, hummers, birdsGrowing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Average, well-drained Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist Seldom needs support Deadhead when 70% of flowering finished May need division in fourth or fifth year It is native to DC, historical in DE, and native to the southeastern and central western counties in PA. In VA, it is infrequent in the mountains and rare in the Piedmont, although often abundant where found. Use en masse in borders and in butterfly, cutting, meadow, and rain gardens Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–8 Excellent Replacement for Allium species - Ornamental Onions Buddleia species - Butterfly Bush Hemerocallis fulva - Orange or Tiger Daylily Lilium species - Lilies (Asiatic, Trumpet, Oriental...) Lythrum salicaria - Purple LoosestrifeLearn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets