The Q&A Archives: Historical Name Of Plant

Question: I inherited a plant from my mother many years ago. She and my grandmother called it "Washington's Plume". I have looked in every book available to me in vain. It has a tall flowerstalk with feathery flowers, not unlike heliotrope.

Answer: If it's a perennial, could it be Gay Feather (Liatris)? These plants have narrow stems with narrow leaves topped by a plume of small, fluffy rose-purple (or white) flower heads. Or, perhaps it's Astilbe, which produces stiff stems with feathery-looking blooms.

Hope one of the above is an exact match!

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