Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Liatris


Liatris is a very common wildflower being sold in America. It's also one of the few native plants we find here. Also called Gay Feather, and Blazing Star, Liatris is an easy to grow plant. You can usually buy a bag of them at Home Depot, Lowes, or any garden center really. Plants already growing or special varieties will cost a bit more. The plant itself seems to be a Rhizome. That is the seed grows the first year and developes into a small potato like root underground. That means little if any green growth the first year and blooming is completely out of the question.

Second year though you'll get more green growth and the plant will bloom. That means the plant is biannual. So after two years it dies. However, it is a native plant and does a good job of reseeding itself. So next year you won't notice any plants becasue all the seeds are developing rhizomes in the soil. But the year after that they'll all grow up and start to bloom. Bareing all this in mind the only way to really get them coming back year after year is to buy another packet next year and plant in the same location.

Pollinators absolutely love this plant. And I have tons of them coming up in the yard. Don't worry about the plant getting out of control. Anywhere that the lawn mower is running will greatly effect what can grow there. And also this plant is only noticable every other year unless you've planted two years in a row. Goldfinches will eat the seeds from these plants too, though sunflowers are a clear favorit.

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