Liatris spicata is one of my favorite perennials in my front yard garden. Commonly referred to as Dense Blazing Star, Blazing Star, and Gayfeather, my appreciation for this plant native to parts of North America, is well documented. Stems surrounded by vibrant, grass-like green foliage shoot up and form long tips covered in buds. Eventually, feathery, pinkish-purple flowers emerge, attracting bees and other pollinators. Then, as the flowers dry, they look like brown, fuzzy bottle brushes. That’s one of the reasons Liatris is high on my list: four-season interest. In this article, I’m going to share tips for planting Liatris, why I consider it to be a perfect perennial, and what not to do with it in the fall.
Part of the Asteraceae family, Liatris have become popular prairie plants in native plant gardens. Add these wildflowers to a border or meadow planting. If you like to create summer bouquets, plant them in a cutting garden among black-eyed Susans, echinacea, and coreopsis. They also make great cottage garden plants, because of their whimsical look, adding vertical interest and color.
Why grow Liatris?
It may be a bit bold to call this a perfect perennial, but in my opinion, Liatris checks a lot of boxes:
Pollinator magnet: It attracts bees, butterflies, and birds!
Year-round interest, including in the winter garden
The dried flower heads provide seeds for birds to eat
Drought and heat tolerant
Interesting flowers, great for cut flower arrangements
Grows well in average to poor soils
Native to prairie areas of North America, Liatris is a hardy, herbaceous perennial. It will survive in low growing zones, with winter conditions between -40°F and -30°F (-40°C to -30°C). And in the summer heat it thrives
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If there’s one thing celebrity recipes are guaranteed to do, it’s spark a (lightly-controversial) conversation in the comments of their social media. Reese Witherspoon did just that after she shared a new creation with the world on TikTok January 18: a mug of snow mixed with cold brew topped with salted caramel and chocolate drizzle.
Possibly from the Latin barba, a beard, many species have a hairy or downy look (Scrophulariaceae). Mullein. A genus of 300 species of hardy herbaceous plants, mostly biennials or short-lived perennials, from temperate parts of Europe and Asia.
Named for Karl August von Bergen, 1704-60, German botanist (Saxifragaceae). These hardy perennial herbaceous plants with large evergreen leaves were at one time called megasea, and were at another time included with the saxifrages. The flowers which come in early spring are showy in white, pink or red-purple, borne in large heads on long stems. The large leathery, glossy leaves are also decorative, especially as in some kinds the foliage is suffused with reddish color in winter.
From the Greek pyr, fire, probably with reference to fever, since the plant was used medicinally to assuage fever (Compositae). These hardy plants are admirable for a sunny border and last well as cut flowers. Long known as pyrethrum they are botanically classified under Chrysanthemum.
The students have returned to school, your mailbox is crammed with a new crop of seed catalogs, the leaves are falling, and the days are getting shorter. Drive by your local garden center or roadside stand and the displays are filled with ornamental kales and cabbages. Autumn has arrived.
Try these fast-growing microgreens that are ready in just a few days: Radish (5-7 days), Cress (5-8 days), Arugula (7-10 days), Sunflower (8-10 days), Pea Shoots (7-10 days), Mizuna (8-10 days), Mustard (7-10 days), Beet (7-10 days), Kale (8-10 days), and Broccoli (10-12 days). Just plant them in shallow containers, mist regularly, and harvest when true leaves appear. More tips below!
From the Greek helios, the sun, and anthemon. a flower (Cistaceae). Sun Rose. A genus of evergreen and semi-evergreen shrubs, sub-shrubs, perennial plants and annuals, very free flowering. Numerous named varieties and hybrids are grown and four species are native plants.
After Helen of Troy ; according to legend the flowers sprang from her tears (Compositae). Sneezeweed. Hardy herbaceous perennials from North America, good for cutting and popularly grown for their late summer flowers. The disc of the flower head is very prominent, a characteristic of the entire genus.
Tender climbing perennial plants which are free flowering and suitable for growing in pots in the greenhouse, or for planting out of doors. They are closely related to the Snapdragon (Antirrhinum), to whose family, Scrophulariaceae, they belong.
We were fortunate to win at Half Moon Bay, California this year. The competition was intense with 80 entries, 10 of which were over 1,000 pounds. The weigh-off is always on Columbus Day. The winner stays until the following weekend to participate in the HMB Pumpkin Festival.
A seed is an embryo plant and contains virtually all the materials and energy to start off a new plant. To get the most from one’s seeds it is needful to understand a little about their needs so that just the right conditions can be given for successful growth.
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