Printer Friendly

Midwesterner moves West: it's liatris.

Midwesterner moves West: it's liatris

It's about time liatris got the attention it deserves. A native of our Midwestern prairies, the plant has until now drawn more admiration in Europe than on its native continent.

Liatris makes clumps of somewhat grassy-looking leaves, out of which rise flowering spikes in summer. Although technically daisies, the flower heads resemble little balls of purplish fluff arranged in a plume. Hence the common name, gayfeather.

Unlike most plants, liatris opens its florets from the top of the spike downward. If it's cut when the first few have opened, florets will continue to open until the spike is in full display.

Liatris has been seen occasionally in perennial borders in the Northwest, but bulb dealers say that it is coming into demand throughout the West (except in the low and intermediate deserts, where it doesn't thrive). This perennial grows from a tuberous rootstock that resembles a small, hairy caladium bulb. Look for plants in containers now, or wait until next winter for tubers. Grow in well-drained soil in full or afternoon sun. Divide and replant when clumps become crowded.

To grow liatris in containers, select deep, well-drained pots. A dozen plants in a half-barrel make a fine show, and tubers are inexpensive--about 30 cents each.

Photo: Fluffy spires of rosy purple flowers, 12 to 15 inches long, are good for cutting. Total height of liatris is 2 to 3 feet
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Date:Apr 1, 1988
Previous Article:Silver lining for a border.
Next Article:Swiss chard is easy to grow from seeds or nursery seedlings.

Related Articles
Inability to Save Money Ranks as Top Financial Worry Of People in the Midwest, CIGNA Group Insurance Survey Finds
Botanical Research Institute of Texas Discovers Two Early-Flowering Liatris Species; Photographs Available Upon Request.
Regional trends in 2000. (Labor Month in Review).
Despite Distrust of State Government, Midwesterners Still Believe Political Reforms Possible, Worth Pursuing.
For Cell Phone Etiquette, West is Best; New Survey From Samsung Explores Attitudes of U.S. Cell Phone Users.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters