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Small-head Blazing Star

Liatris microcephala

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Small-head Blazing Star (Liatris microcephala) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Liatris microcephala flowers

Liatris microcephala flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Small-head Blazing Star (Liatris microcephala) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Liatris microcephala in bloom

Liatris microcephala in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  18 inches

Flower Height:  24 inches

Spread:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Dwarf Blazing Star, Button Snakeroot

Description:

An upright clump-forming plant with tall rose-purple flower spikes; visually spectacular when massed together along a border or as a garden accent; easily grown, hardy and disease resistant

Ornamental Features

Small-head Blazing Star has masses of beautiful spikes of rose flowers with purple overtones rising above the foliage from mid summer to early fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its grassy leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Small-head Blazing Star is an herbaceous perennial with a rigidly upright and towering form. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Self-Seeding

Small-head Blazing Star is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Small-head Blazing Star will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity extending to 24 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 18 inches. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Small-head Blazing Star is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Garden  Naturalizing  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features