Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Collection of Liatris, Trying to Remember Which is Which

Liatris is one of my favorite flowers.  I have planted a number of them, and the tags don't end up staying next to them, so I forget which are which.  I decided to take some photos, and then see if we can figure it out. 

I have 5 of my garden books opened to liatris, and think I have the first one figured out.  This looks like liatris aspera, also called button snakeroot, or rough blazing star.  Oh, and I just learned something.  This used to be called liatris scariosa.  (I have three photos of this one.)

Can you see the bee?  

You can see why "button" is in one of the names for it.

I think these tall, floppy ones are liatris pycnostachya, thick-spike gayfeather.  The blooms are on more of the stalks on these than the ones I saw in my books and online, but I am thinking that is one of the kinds I bought.  They are much thicker than the other liatrises.

The bees like them, too.

Now, there was a tag next to this one, but sometimes a tag will come out from somewhere, and I guess which plant it was.  This one said it's liatris punctata.  I have several of those, and the rabbits have been munching on them.

This one's tag said the same thing, though, and these don't look alike, but I've had a basket over this one so the rabbits couldn't get to it.

This one's tag also said punctata.  I just hope they grow taller and bloom next year.

I wonder if this is another aspera.

They sure like to hold onto their buds awhile!

A few of the liatrises were totally lying on the ground until I propped them up.  I wonder if this is also punctata. 

 Another name for it is dotted gayfeather.

This one is a bit taller than the previous one, but I think it may also be punctata.

I like it.

The bees like it, too!

These are the first liatrises that I grew, 'Kobold'.  Someone told me the name of the plant I admired in a church bed, and when I got this, I didn't realize there were so many native ones.  I guess I wasn't looking for native plants so much at the time, either.  These are finished blooming already.

They have self sown around, and while I still like them, I think I am going to cut them down before fall, to avoid more coming up.  I am wondering if I should even grow them if I don't want the native ones to cross with them, though.  I am not ready to pull them out just yet, but it's something I need to think about.

I've had these in the curb area in front of the vegetable garden a number of years.  I'm pretty sure they are punctata.

I scrolled back to the others I thought were the same, but couldn't tell.  These have been here longer, and are in full sun.  They are not getting nearly as much water as the ones in the front.

This is a white blooming one I found somewhere, but as you can see, the rabbits have been eating this one down.

If you recognize what these are, please let me know. 


  1. Well I never knew there were so many kinds Sue. LOL! Purple and white was as far as my knowledge on them ran. I love those with the giant twisting purple blooms. They are beautiful.

  2. Our Liatris didn't survive the drought...or maybe it just did so poorly I didn't see it. I always loved the color.

  3. I can't help with the liatris since all I have ever grown were Kobold.

    I didn't realize there were so many kinds.

    Your plants look so much better than mine. I am ready to mow all beds down.

  4. Hi Sue, interestingly, Liatris is one plant I have NEVER grown in all my years of gardening. I don't really know why either. It's pretty and very textural. Maybe I'll have to start thinking about it.

    Great photos.

  5. The Liatris corner garden. I grow three varities. L. spicata, L. ligustylis, and kobold. Kobold was just planted. I like the texture of the spicata foliage and of course ligustylis brings in the monarchs.

  6. I also never knew there were so many kinds of liatris. I do like it though and wonder how it would do down here.

  7. Sue, I love liatris and it always lies down on the job here, too. I read recently that many prairie plants rely on grasses to hold them upright! I might plant mine closer to the Switchgrass and see if it's true. gail


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