General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 36 - 60 inches
Plant Spread: 6 - 12 inches
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Corm
Uses: Provides winter interest
Cut Flower
Dried Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: 2 months at 40 degrees
Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies

Common names
  • Prairie Blazing Star
  • Thickspike Gayfeather
  • Kansas gayfeather
  • Cat-tail gayfeather
  • Tall Blazing Star
  • Cattail Gayfeather
  • Button Snakeroot
  • Gayfeather
  • Blazing Star

  • Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Nov 23, 2011 2:34 AM concerning plant:
    A prairie wildflower in Illinois; also found along RR tracks and fens. Flower heads form long dense spike to 12". Spike can be air-dried for winter applications.
    Also known as gayfeather.
    Cultured varieties grown for the cut flower market.
  • Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on Apr 30, 2016 11:27 PM concerning plant:
    Prefers moist soil. I have it planted in a rain garden that sometimes dries out in the summer, and it tends to wilt. Liatris aspera, which is more drought-tolerant, would have been a better choice.

    Very similar to Liatris spicata: they are both tall with thick spikes of small flowers. Can be distinguished by the shape of the bracts around the tiny flowerheads. L. pycnostachya has bract tips that curl back; L. spicata has bracts that lie flat.
Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On January 2, 2016 Seeds sown
WS 16 seeds from kchd
» Post your own event for this plant

« Add a new plant to the database

» Search the Gayfeathers Database: by characteristics or by cultivar name

« See the general plant entry for Gayfeathers (Liatris)

« The Gayfeathers Database Front Page

« The Plants Database Front Page