Gayfeather (Liatris spicata), commonly known as the Blazing Star, Marsh Blazing Star, or Dense Blazing Star, is a tall, erect, lumpy perennial native to low-lying wetlands, grasslands, and marsh edges.
Liatris belongs to the family Asteraceae, and each flower head has only fuzzy disc-shaped flowers (similar to “blazing stars“). The Liatris genus includes about 50 perennial species and is native to the Bahamas and Mexico.
In cultivation, Gayfeather typically grows 2 to 4′ tall but can reach 6′ tall in parts of its natural habitat. It has terminal ends (6 to 12″ long) of stalkless, round, downy, dark purple buds (up to 3/4” wide each) that appear on stiff, upright, leafy pedicels.
One or more stems originate from a basal clump of narrow, medium green, grass-like leaves (up to 30 cm long). The leaves of the stem gradually become smaller towards the top.
It blooms in summer. These prairie wildflowers have pointy or pinnate flowers and long, narrow leaves that grow along the stem. Gayfeather is beautiful in late summer and early fall. It is an excellent option for nearly any garden.