Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata)
An important perennial plant in the fall during butterfly and hummingbird migrations. Gayfeather likes a dry to medium soil in full sun. Too much water will leads to root rot. It is tolerant of alkaline soils.
This perennial sometimes requires two years before making a bloom. Strong roots grow down as deep as 16 feet, and will easily cling to any poor, infertile, well-drained soil. Also makes a good cut flower.
You will sometimes hear this wonderful perennial called Blazing Star. It is one of our most attractive late summer to fall bloomers across Texas. Many species are found along roadsides in various soils. (Not to be confused with the similar-looking, fussy hybrid found in many commercial floral arrangements, although the wild ones will stay pretty for a while if cut.)
These native plants grow from a corm which may produce a few to many stalks forming a clump. The flower spikes stand one to three feet tall.
Gayfeather makes a wonderful, long term, non-agressive plant. Each corm will live at least 6 years, with the proper conditions. They will re-seed themselves, so if you have put them in the right place, they will be with you for a long time! Don't over water though, as they will grow rank and fall over and the corm will rot. They do best in the company of other plants that don't like extra water. We've seen Gayfeather covered with butterflies in late summer and fall.
AT A GLANCE
|Sun exposure||Full sun to part sun|
|Bloom time||Summer, fall|
|Mature height||1-3 ft|