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Liatris spicata (Spike gayfeather)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Liatris spicata

Spike gayfeather

PA provenance

We are pleased to increase the availability of Pennsylvania provenance populations of our native gayfeathers. Tallest of the genus with upright spikes bearing pinkish-purple tassels in July and August. One of the best garden performers! An excellent cut flower and a magnet for butterflies, bees, rare moths and hummingbirds. Deer resistant!

PRICING
Liatris spicata LP50 - 50 per flat $56.70
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Height

3-5 Feet

Spread

2 Feet

Spacing

10 Inches

Bloom Color

Mauve Pink

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

Spike gayfeather Interesting Notes

The good news for gardeners is that Liatris is much more than a cut-flower-industry standard. It is, in fact, a group of wonderfully diverse and easy-to-grow perennials that can brighten up the outside of your home just as beautifully as they can the inside...

Because of their vertical nature, Liatris species take up minimal space and are suitable for even the smallest garden. They are equally at home in large, established perennial borders, where their thin, tall, airy floral wands create a mesmerizing "pop-up" effect.

Besides getting a visual boost, your garden will also hum delightfully from the various insect pollinators that come to feed on Liatris flowers. Butterflies are particularly attracted to the nectar-rich blossoms. Birds will also pay a visit as they relish the fall-ripening seeds. - "Lofty Liatris" by Kim Hawkes, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

This densely spiked wetland species is one of the most commonly available in hurseries, with several compact cultivars from European breeders. It is a fine garden plant that will tolerate more moisture than most of the others, but does fine in average soils as well. - Bill Cullina, Wildflowers of the US and Canada

Liatris adapts well to container production in the nursery. The slender bottlebrushes of purple, fuchsia, rose and purple make a striking vertical statement in formal borders, cottage gardens and naturalistic plantings. Neither poor soils, heat, cold nor drought seem to bother this sturdy native American. And it's mostly unaffected by pests and diseases. But watch for powdery mildew, which may appear in hot, humid weather. In the nursery, provide plenty of air circulation to limit powdery mildew, and irrigate regularly, as stressed plants are more prone to powdery mildew.

L. spicata blooms from midsummer to fall, drawing bees and butterflies. What's interesting about these flowers is that, unlike most spiked flowers, gay-feather blossoms begin opening from the top of the spike downward.

Liatris spicata Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers average to moist, organically rich soils in full to part sun. Tolerant of harsh growing conditions such as poor soil, heat, humidity and drought, but is the most moisture tolerant of the genus. Propagate by seed or divide tubers in spring or fall. Best used as a border in perennial and cutting gardens or naturalized areas.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Butterflies
Butterflies
Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Summer
Summer
Moist
Moist
Average
Average
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Propagation Type
Open pollinated
Attributes
Native to North America
Moist Sun
Meadow