In the Native Garden

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June 20, 2009 Walk/Chapter Meeting

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Top 10 Mosses for the Southeastern US

Liatris squarrosa
    ( Liatris        squarrosa )
Scaly blazingstar, Scaly gayfeather, taken on September 27, 2007.
Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

Blazingstar will begin to bloom along roadsides and in fields mid-to-late summer. The show of tuft-like purple-pink flowers lasts about one month as the flowerheads bloom from the top to the bottom. Reaching a height of 12 to 36 inches, this member of the aster family stands very erect and is unbranched. The scaly part of its common names derives from the hairy or "scaly" stem. Blazingstar seems to thrive in hot and dry conditions.

Liatris squarrosa is very attractive to native bees, bumblebees, butterflies, and skippers. Although it is resistant to deer and rabbit damage, the foliage and flowerheads of Blazingstar are edible and mammalian herbivores will browse when other food sources are scarce.

Scaly blazingstar is spread by seeds, and native plant nurseries sell it as a potted plant.

Common uses for this plant include: Liatris squarrosa produces a medium height mound of brilliant purple-pink flowers in late summer. Excellent for hot, dry sites and as an attractant to native bees and butterflies.

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