Liatris aspera – Rough Blazing Star
A Missouri native perennial, Rough Blazing Star, Liatris aspera, can be found growing in Missouri prairies and meadows. From tufts of 12″ long narrow leaves come tall 2-3′ tall flower stalks with fluffy, deep rose-purple flower heads. Makes a delightful cut flower. Also known as Gayfeather.
Don’t be surprised when you see swarms of butterflies, bees, and other important pollinators around this delight. Rough Blazing Star is a food source for all of our primary pollinator groups. Butterflies and skippers (especially Monarchs, Swallowtails, Painted ladies, and possibly nectar moths too). Hummingbirds, bumble bees, and large carpenter bees all are regular visitors. Also, native ground and cavity nesting bees, flower beetles, and flower flies are frequent visitors.
Plant in full sun in soil that has been amended with compost or other organic matter. Add a starter fertilizer at planting. Although drought tolerant, for best results, keep well watered especially when plants are budding up and blooming, and during dry spells.