Gayfeather, Blazing Star

This showy native prairie plant can be grown in containers or be used in a perennial border.
Related To:
gayfeather_alamy

gayfeather_alamy

Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Botanical name: Liatris
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 9

Showy native prairie plant. Gayfeather is easy to grow and long-lasting in the garden. Unique spiky flower heads with narrow, grasslike foliage growing along erect stems. Bloom colors are white, pink, lavender and purple. Flowers in summer. Plant size ranges from two to five feet tall and as wide.

How to use it: In masses or containers. Use in a sunny, mixed perennial border. Good for naturalized areas or cutting gardens. Because it can get lost if planted alone, plant in groups of three, five or more for full effect. Excellent fresh or dried cutflower.

Culture: Prefers a well-drained to dry soil. Does not like to have wet feet going into winter. Plant in full sun. May require staking. Propagated through seed, cuttings or division of the tuberous corms. No serious problems with pests or diseases.

Special notes: Several species native to various parts of the U.S. Commonly used in commercial floral arrangements. Drought tolerant. Attracts wildlife, including birds and butterflies.

Selected Cultivars and Species

  • Common gayfeather (L. spicata). Most commonly found gayfeather on the market. Flower spikes reach three to four feet tall and wide.
  • 'Floristan White'. White flowering. Good cutflower.
  • 'Kobold'. Shorter and more compact plant reaches two feet tall. Therefore doesn't need staking. Produces a lavender bloom.
  • Tall gayfeather (L. scariosa). Reaches one to four feet tall and about two to three feet wide. Native to the eastern U.S.
Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Plant Perennials

Learn how to grow perennials in your garden with this step-by-step planting guide.

Fall-Planted Perennials for Easy Spring Color

Get a head start on spring by planting in the fall.

How to Plant Perennial Flowers & Plants

Perennials are the mainstay of the traditional flower garden. When planted correctly, they are long-lived.

Are Mums Perennials?

Learn which mums you can count on to color your landscape for years to come.

Transplanting Perennials

Follow these tips on how to best transplant perennials.

Getting the Most Out of Your Perennials

Learn how to select and then grow perennials in the garden.

How to Buy the Best Perennials

Learn how to get the best deal on perennials—including tips on choosing healthy plants.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.