LIATRIS spicata (Gayfeather) is a perennial flowering plant native to North America. Gayfeather is a perennial plant, which means it lives for multiple years. It belongs to the Asteraceae family, which includes daisies and sunflowers.
This plant typically grows in upright, clump-forming tufts with multiple flowering stems. The stems can reach a height of about 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 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, pink, or white in color. The flower spikes give Gayfeather a unique and striking appearance.
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.
Gayfeather thrives in full sun, although it can tolerate some light shade. It prefers well-draining soil and is well-suited to sandy or loamy soils. This plant is native to prairies, meadows, and open woodlands, and it is well-adapted to dry, drought-prone environments.
Gayfeather is usually grown from seeds or obtained as container-grown plants from nurseries. It can be planted in the spring or fall, ensuring good soil contact for the seeds or transplanting the plants at the appropriate depth. Watering regularly during establishment is important, but once established, Gayfeather is generally drought-tolerant and does not require frequent watering. It is a relatively low-maintenance plant.
Gayfeather is a popular choice for wildflower gardens, pollinator gardens, and naturalized areas. Its vibrant flower spikes attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. It can also be used as a cut flower in floral arrangements due to its striking appearance.
Gayfeather is a beautiful addition to garden landscapes, providing vertical interest and attracting pollinators. It is a resilient plant that is well-suited to xeriscaping and dry gardening practices.
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Scientific Name: Liatris Spicata
Common Name: Gayfeather
Plant Type: Perennial
Family: Asteraceae or Daisy family
Native Range: United States (Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Connecticut, Missouri)
Height: 48 inches, can grow to 60-72 " as well
Spread: 24-36 "
Habitat: Meadows, Borders of marshes, savannahs, damp slopes etc. Poor dry ridges
Exposure: Dappled Shade, Full Sun
Blooming Season: Summer (Mid, Late), Fall
Resistant: Deer, Drought, Dry soil
Flower Shape: Tall and Vertical flower spikes
Flower Color: Purple
Moisture: Moist, Average soil
Water Requirement: Medium
Soil Type: Clay, Heavy, Moist, Well-drained, Light, Sandy, Loam
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Advantage: Attractive Wild-life, Low maintenance
Uses: Historically used medicinally by Native Americans for its carminative, diuretic, stimulant, sudorific properties.