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Liatris spicata - (L.)Willd.                
                 
Common Name Gayfeather, Dense blazing star, Spiked Blazing Star, Button Snakewot, Gayfeather, Spiked Gayfeather,
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards Although we have no records of toxicity for this plant, one record says that the leaves contain coumarins. These have an anti-clotting effect on the blood and can prevent natural clotting of the blood when there is a cut[K].
Habitats Meadows, borders of marshes, savannahs, damp slopes etc[43]. Poor dry ridges[190].
Range Eastern N. America - Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Wisconsin, south to Florida and Louisiana.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       
Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Liatris spicata is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms
Liatris spicata Gayfeather, Dense blazing star, Spiked Blazing Star, Button Snakewot, Gayfeather, Spiked Gayfeather,


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:MJJR
Liatris spicata Gayfeather, Dense blazing star, Spiked Blazing Star, Button Snakewot, Gayfeather, Spiked Gayfeather,
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez
   
Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Bog Garden; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Antibacterial;  Astringent;  Carminative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Expectorant;  Stimulant;  Tonic;  VD.


The leaves and root are anodyne, antibacterial, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant and tonic[4, 21, 106, 238, 257]. The plant is said to be extremely efficacious when used as a local application in the treatment of sore throats and gonorrhoea[4]. It is also used in treating kidney diseases[238]. The leaves are harvested in the summer, the roots in the autumn. Both can be used fresh or dried[238].
Other Uses
Pot-pourri;  Repellent.

The aromatic leaves and roots are added to pot-pourri[238]. The leaves and the roots are added to various insect-repellent herbal mixtures[238].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Massing, Seashore, Specimen. Grows well in a moderately good light soil[1]. Requires a moist to wet position[1, 200, 238]. Established plants are very drought tolerant so long as there is plenty of humus in the soil[190]. Prefers a sunny position[108] but succeeds in shade[111]. Plants are hardy to about -25°c[187]. The plant has an agreeable odour, due to the presence of coumarins[4]. A good bee plant[1]. Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection[200]. Slugs are fond of the young shoots in spring[238]. Special Features: Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse[200]. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring[1]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Liatris chapmaniiChapman's Blazing Star01
Liatris punctataSnakeroot, Dotted blazing star, Mexican blazing star, Nebraska blazing star12
Liatris scariosaDevil's Bite02
Liatris squarrosaScaly blazing star, Alabama blazing star01
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(L.)Willd.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
43200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
michele fuirer Wed Apr 15 2009
the liatris I ordered from a plant catalogue were sent as tubers/bulbs not from seed, is this a completely different genus of the plant? they were already starting to sprout when I planted them this week 10 April in a garden in south west france.
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Subject : Liatris spicata  
             
                                        
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
   
 

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