LIATRIS pycnostachya (Thickspike Gayfeather) is a perennial flowering plant native to North America. Thickspike Gayfeather is a perennial plant, meaning it lives for multiple years. It belongs to the Asteraceae family, which includes daisies and sunflowers.
This plant forms clumps of grass-like foliage with tall, erect stems. The stems can reach a height of about 3 to 5 feet (90 to 150 cm). At the top of each stem, dense spikes of flowerheads are formed. The individual flowerheads are small, tubular, and densely packed with tiny florets that are typically purple or lavender in color. The flower spikes are thick and elongated, giving the plant its common name "Thickspike Gayfeather."
Thickspike Gayfeather typically blooms from mid-summer to early fall, generally between July and September. The flowering period may vary depending on the local climate and growing conditions.
Thickspike Gayfeather thrives in full sun, although it can tolerate some light shade. It prefers well-draining soil and is well-suited to prairies, meadows, and open woodlands. It can tolerate various soil types, including sandy or loamy soils. It is known to be drought-tolerant once established. It is a relatively low-maintenance plant.
Thickspike Gayfeather is commonly used in native plant gardens, pollinator gardens, and prairie restorations. Its vibrant flower spikes attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. It also adds vertical interest and texture to garden landscapes. Thickspike Gayfeather can be used as a cut flower in floral arrangements due to its unique and eye-catching appearance.
Thickspike Gayfeather is an important plant for supporting pollinators and other wildlife. It provides nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and its seeds are consumed by birds and small mammals.
Thickspike Gayfeather is a valuable addition to gardens, contributing to biodiversity and supporting native ecosystems.
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Scientific Name: Liatris Pycnostachya
Common Name: Prairie Blazing Star, Prairie Gayfeather
Plant Type: Perennial
Native Range: Central and Southeast regions of United States
Height: 24-60 "
Spread: 12-24 "
Habitat: Moist to mesic black soil prairies, moist meadows near woodlands or rivers
Zone: 3 to 9
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun
Blooming Season: Late Summer, Early Fall
Attracts: Birds, Humming birds, Butterflies, Honeybees
Resistant: Deer and Drought resistant
Flower Shape: Showy, Good cut
Flower Color: Lilac Purple, Deep-rose purple, Pink
Moisture: Average moist
Water Requirement: Dry to medium
Soil Type: Clay soil, Dry soil
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Advantage: Low maintenance, Easy to grow
Uses: Cutting gardens, Wild gardens, Naturalized areas, Prairies or meadows, Perennial borders