Liatris spicata 'Kobold Original'
Common Name: blazing star
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Deep purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Clay Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Somewhat tolerant of poor soils, but prefers moist, fertile ones and generally performs better in moist soils than most other species of Liatris. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. May be grown from seed, but is slow to establish.

'Kobold Original' does not come true from seed as does its taller relative, L. spicata 'Kobold'.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Liatris spicata, commonly called blazing star, dense blazing star or marsh blazing star, is a tall, upright, clump-forming perennial which is native to moist low grounds, meadows and marsh margins. In Missouri, it has only been found in Oregon County on the Arkansas border (Steyermark). It typically grows 2-4' tall in cultivation, but can reach a height of 6' in some parts of its native habitat. Features terminal spikes (6-12" long) of sessile, rounded, fluffy, deep purple flower heads (each to 3/4" across) appearing atop rigid, erect, leafy flower stalks. One or more stalks arise from a basal tuft of narrow, grass-like, medium green leaves (to 12" long). Stem leaves gradually decrease in size toward the top. Blooms in summer. Liatris belongs to the aster family, with each flower head having only fluffy disk flowers (resembling "blazing stars") and no ray flowers. The feathery flower heads of liatris give rise to another common name of gayfeather.

Genus name of unknown origin.

'Kobold Original' is a very compact tuberous rooted perennial that typically grows to only 14" tall. It is identical to Liatris spicata 'Kobold', except the latter has a taller mature form (stems rise to 25-30" tall).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Mass in perennial borders, native plant gardens, cottage gardens and prairie areas.