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Liatris spicata - (L.)Willd.

Common Name Gayfeather, Dense blazing star, Spiked Blazing Star, Button Snakewot, Gayfeather, Spiked Gayfeather,
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards Although we have no records of toxicity for this plant, one record says that the leaves contain coumarins. These have an anti-clotting effect on the blood and can prevent natural clotting of the blood when there is a cut[K].
Habitats Meadows, borders of marshes, savannahs, damp slopes etc[43]. Poor dry ridges[190].
Range Eastern N. America - Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Wisconsin, south to Florida and Louisiana.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Liatris spicata Gayfeather, Dense blazing star, Spiked Blazing Star, Button Snakewot, Gayfeather, Spiked Gayfeather,


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:MJJR
Liatris spicata Gayfeather, Dense blazing star, Spiked Blazing Star, Button Snakewot, Gayfeather, Spiked Gayfeather,
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Liatris spicata is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Bog Garden; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Antibacterial  Astringent  Carminative  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Emmenagogue  Expectorant  
Stimulant  Tonic  VD

The leaves and root are anodyne, antibacterial, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant and tonic[4, 21, 106, 238, 257]. The plant is said to be extremely efficacious when used as a local application in the treatment of sore throats and gonorrhoea[4]. It is also used in treating kidney diseases[238]. The leaves are harvested in the summer, the roots in the autumn. Both can be used fresh or dried[238].

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Other Uses

Pot-pourri  Repellent

The aromatic leaves and roots are added to pot-pourri[238]. The leaves and the roots are added to various insect-repellent herbal mixtures[238].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Massing, Seashore, Specimen. Grows well in a moderately good light soil[1]. Requires a moist to wet position[1, 200, 238]. Established plants are very drought tolerant so long as there is plenty of humus in the soil[190]. Prefers a sunny position[108] but succeeds in shade[111]. Plants are hardy to about -25°c[187]. The plant has an agreeable odour, due to the presence of coumarins[4]. A good bee plant[1]. Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection[200]. Slugs are fond of the young shoots in spring[238]. Special Features: Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse[200]. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring[1]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Liatris chapmaniiChapman's Blazing StarPerennial0.0 -  LMSNDM01 
Liatris punctataSnakeroot, Dotted blazing star, Mexican blazing star, Nebraska blazing starPerennial0.6 3-7  LMSNDM12 
Liatris scariosaDevil's BitePerennial0.8 3-7  LMSNDM02 
Liatris squarrosaScaly blazing star, Alabama blazing starPerennial0.9 4-8  LMSNDM01 

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Willd.

Botanical References

43200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

michele fuirer   Wed Apr 15 2009

the liatris I ordered from a plant catalogue were sent as tubers/bulbs not from seed, is this a completely different genus of the plant? they were already starting to sprout when I planted them this week 10 April in a garden in south west france.

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