1 entry found.
Common Name: Gayfeather, Blazing-Star, Button Snakeroot
Botanical Name: Liatris spicata or L. pycnostachya (lee-A-tris spi-KAY-ta or pik-no-STAC-ee-a)
Decorative Life: 6-14 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves since they can rapidly deteroriate if held under water. Recut stems under water or in air and place into a fresh flower food solution. The sugar in flower food is very important in opening up more flowers per stem and thereby doubling the life of the entire inflorescence.
  • Leaf yellowing can be a problem along with Botrytis infection (fungus). Use an anti-yellowing treatment.
Harvest Instructions: Harvest when at least 3-4 flowers are open. However, bud cut flowers offer the significant advantage of being able to be transported with fewer problems assuming that an effective bud opening solution is used at receiver level. Can be left in the ground for up to three seasons for maximum production. Best quality flowers are harvested from 10-15 days after the beginning of harvest for a particular planting.
Family Roots:
  • While the flower may not look like it at first glance, it is a member of the Asteraceae or Compositae (aster family).
  • Native to North America.
  • Common relatives include gerbera, sunflower, aster, chrysanthemum, lettuce and endive.
  • It has small individual flowers with needle-like petals on dense spikes that are about 6-10 inches long at stem ends.
  • Stems are 24-32 inches long with linear leaves.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial, cclassed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Mostly purple, some white.
Storage Specifics: Store at 36-38 F (three days or less), 32-34 F (more than three days, up to a week or more).
  • One very unusual aspect of this species is that the flowers on the spike open from the top down, not from the bottom up as most spike type flowers. The specific epithet name spicata means with spikes, in reference to its flower form.
  • Varieties available include 'Floristan Purple', 'Floristan White', 'Gloriosa' (purple), 'September Glory' (purple), and 'White Spires'. Very difficult group as it has been complicated by the hybridization of some of the species.
  • The consumer may have to change the vase solution frequently to prevent contamination if not using a proper flower food concentration. Also, consumers should choose stems with only the top third of flowers open.
  • Suitable for drying- allow all flowers on spike to open first, strip leaves and hang upside down until dry. One of relatively few blue-colored spike flowers for use as cut flowers and garden plants.
  • Resembling a feather duster, isn’t it hard to believe these unusual blooms are part of the Daisy family? The Compositae or aster family is vast, with over 20,000 species, and is also one of the most developed families. It was named Compositae because the flowers are actually a "composite" of many individual flowers into one head. Hence, when children pull one "petal" off at a time, saying "she/he loves me, loves me not", they are actually removing a complete flower, not just a petal.
Recent Findings: Starman et al. (1995) rated this species ('Floristan Violet') as being a below average income producer.