Liatris is a rather odd plant and merits a much more general use because it is very desirable and attractive. The Kansas Gay Feather (Lialris pycrtostachya) 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 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.
Where to plant Liatris
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 a great attraction for butterflies and bees.
Liatris will thrive in places where scarcely anything else will grow. They will grow in any soil or shade but prefer moist soil and partial shade.
They are propagated from seed sown in the Autumn, or by a division of the tuberous roots.
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