Liatris is a rather odd plant
and merits a much more general use because it is very
desirable and attractive. The Kansas Gay Feather
is the one most commonly grown and is one of the
choicest ones to grow. It grows in long spikes, 4 feet
to 5 feet tall, which are densely covered with slender,
grass-like leaves of a light green. The small flowers
are a light rosy-purple, a color which does not harmonize
readily with all other colors. A peculiar habit of the
Liatris is that the succession of bloom is from the
top downward, rather than from the lowest blooms up
to the highest as in all other spike flowers. They bloom
in August and September. The Button Snake Root (L.
spicata) and L. scariosa are two other fine
species, both producing deep violet-purple spikes of
flowers but not growing so tall as the Gay Feather.
There are also lighter shades of purple and white varieties.
There is hardly any perennial which will attract as
much attention as does the Liatris because it is so
different and unusual.
UTILIZE. Liatris is a splendid
border plant to use at the back of the border, but the
color is one which goes with few other flowers and should
be subdued with white flowers. The plants have great
attraction for butterflies and bees.
GENERAL. Liatrises will thrive
in places where scarcely anything else will grow. They
will grow in any soil or shade. but prefer a moist soil
and partial shade.
PROPAGATION. They are propagated
from seed sown in the Autumn, or by division of the