Liatris is flowering perennial within the sunflower family native to the north American continent.  They survive over the winter in the form of corms.  Liatris species are used as food plants by the larvae of some butterflies.

We planted a spicata Alba and an Liatris spicata ‘Kobold‘ on 3 June 2018 in the back patch.  None of the liatris have done well.  Maybe it’s just too dry of a location, exacerbated by the foliage cover of the large cherry tree.

Liatris Spicata (aka button snakewort; Kansas gay feather)

  • Tolerates most soil types (clay, loam, sandy).
  • Needs full sun.
  • Propagate by division in spring.
  • Dead-head regularly,  then cut stems down to the ground in winter


Liatris – spicata Alba‘ 

Clump-forming herbaceous perennial with long-lasting white flowerheads borne on dense spikes.  Ideal for borders and cut flowers.

  • White flower spears appear in summer.
  • Attractive to bees.
  • Grow in light, moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. 
  • Grows 5 feet (1.5 metres) by 18 inches (45 cm). 


Liatris – spicata ‘Kobold’ (GayfeatherI) 

  • Erect deciduous perennial with spikes of purple flowers summer and autumn.
  • Fully hardy.
  • Grow in an light, moist, well-drained soil in full sun.  Plants may rot over winter if grown in heavy soil.
  • Grows 45 cm high by 45 cm wide.
  • Flowers from August to September.  Bears long-lasting spikes of deep purple flowers which are loved by birds and butterflies and make a colourful vertical accent to the late summer border.
  • Makes a good cut flower.
  • Deadhead as flowering ends.
  • Plants may be susceptible to slugs, snails and mice.  They have occasional problems with rust disease and/or leaf spot.
  • Propagate by seed in autumn.  Divide clumps in spring.
  • A good addition to perennial flower borders and wildlife gardens.