Liatris pycnostachya – PRAIRIE BLAZING STAR

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Showy native perennial with long flowering period and the best blazing stars for wet soils. Long unbranched spikes of lilac-purple flowers shoot up to the sky, flowers start to bloom from the tip to the bottom. Excellent cut flower, attractive to little birds, hummingbirds, monarchs and other butterflies and to native bees and honey bees.

Prairie Blazing Star is recognized as special native bee value wildflower by The Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

This species blooms after Liatris cylindrica(Cylindrical Blazingstar), but before Liatris aspera (Rough Blazingstar). It was collected by French planthunter Andre Michaux in 1795 on the prairies of Illinois.

Can be combined with many prairie perennials, the best combo is with yellow and white(these meet in bloom) – combine it with Aster novae-angliae, Eryngium yuccifolium, Ratibida pinnata, Rudbeckia fulgida, Silphium terebinthinaceum, Solidago. Can be planted in border, but better is in more natural looking areas, cut-flower gardens, wild gardens, pollinator gardens, monarch and butterfly gardens, native plant gardens, naturalized areas, prairies or meadows.

Picture origin : Wikipedia Commons, free domain by Daderot

Blooming time : July/August to September

Size : 4’ tall x less than 1’ wide, spacing 12-18”

USDA zones : 3 to 9

Culture : full sun, half shade, easily grown in average soil, from dry to moist soil. Tolerant of clay, poor soils, drought, summer heat and humidity.

Moisture Needs : medium-dry,medium, medium-moist, wet, but also very drought tolerant

Origin : native wildflower to Central and southeastern United, naturally occurs on moist to mesic black soil prairies, moist meadows near woodlands or rivers, limestone glades, rocky bluffs, along railroads etc. See the USDA distribution map.

Deer/rabbit resistant : partly resistant to deer / partly resistant to rabbits. Rabbits like to eat young plants, mature plants can be browsed by deer or groundhogs, so in herbivore overpopulated areas might be some protection needed (liquid fence). Voles can sometimes eat the corms.

Attracts Butterflies or Pollinators : highly attractive to many pollinators – from long-tongued bees it’s honeybees, bumblebees, Little Carpenter bees, Miner bees, large Leaf-Cutting bees, from other native bees – Halictine bees. Attracts butterflies like Monarchs, Swallowtails, Painted Ladies, Sulfurs, Whites, and others. Other visitors are skippers, bee flies and day-flying moths. The caterpillars of the rare Glorious Flower Moth feed on the flowers and seed capsules.

Attracts Hummingbirds : yes

Pot Size : 3.5" perennial pot (1.22 pt/580 ml)