Liatris plants provide great color and heat tolerance for the Texas summer

Liatris

Looking for a splash of color in your flowerbed? Interested in a plant that will stand up to the Texas summer heat?

Let me introduce you to Liatris spicata.

Native to the eastern United States, this species is prominent in the southern range. Liatris plants typically grow from corms that sprout in spring. This perennial eye-catcher boasts 3- to 4-foot-tall, towering spikes of purple flowers that appear in July and August.

Liatris’ clumping nature spreads from 1 to 2 feet, benefiting mass border designs. It loves full sun and is drought-tolerant but thrives in moist, fertile soils as well. Regular garden soil and even clay can be home for this easily adaptable plant that also attracts birds, bees and butterflies. With its feathery leaves, this low-maintenance charmer will complement any cut or dried arrangement. No insect or disease hampers this showy plant.

Some common names are marsh gayfeather, dense blazing star, Kansas gay feather, blazing star, Liatris callilepis. The white flowered varieties are Liatris spicata “Alba” and Liatris spicata “Floristan White.” Liatris is a great addition to any Southern garden.

Find Liatris at the Smith County Master Gardener Bulbs and More Sale on Oct. 8 at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler. Visit http://txmg.org/smith/coming-events/ for more information, or call the Smith County Agrilife Extension office at 903-590-2980.

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