PlantFiles: Gay Feather, Dense Blazing Star Liatris spicata 'Floristan White'
It's time to read and vote for your favorite article in the 2013 Write-Off Contest! The four finalist's articles are featured in the May 13 newsletter and can be found through this link. Hurry! Voting ends May 18.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
Grown from seed that was winter sown, 'Floristan White' is a nice vertical accent in my Southeastern Zone 8 garden. Although the plant is tall, no staking is needed to keep it upright. Fringe-like foliage is also very attractive.
On Oct 29, 2005, Sarahskeeper from Brockton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I've grown these for many years and like them.
They are taller than Kobold, 30 - 40 inches.
They bloom from the top downward.
They will re-seed themselves if not dead headed. These seedlings may revert to the shorter purple ones, once and a while.
They attract butterflies and are a nice cut flower.
They need full sun and well drained soil, easy to divide in very early spring.
Can be very thirsty when grown on pots (not recommended).
An extra dose of compost when planting, will help a lot.
On Nov 12, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
My experience with floristan white is that it is not quite as hardy as it's cousin 'Kobold." I first tried growing the FW from seed in 2003, which failed miserably as just as the seedlings were being adjusted to outside conditions prior to planting, Mother Nature decided to let loose with several days of deluge, which killed all the liatris I'd grown from seed.
I purchased several small plants in 2004 and transplanted to a newly made tier where they gave a respectable showing in summer, however, this year again we had a somewhat damp and cool summer. The kobold did not appear affected, however the FW did not reach the size nor appearance that I expected. I'm hoping for an 'average' summer to see how it performs. I've had cuttings to dry from other friend's gardens that were spectacular.
On May 4, 2002, birdlady1944 from Mesick, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
Grows anywhere by forming a large bulb-like rootball which may be divided easily. Also, the seeds may be collected after flowers fade. Blooms start at the bottom of the spike and advance upward.
It is a good plant for people who have no time to garden as you can't kill it; moderatly spreading growing to 15 to 18 inches.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Fullerton, California Lula, Georgia Lake In The Hills, Illinois Indianapolis, Indiana Davenport, Iowa Sioux Center, Iowa Barbourville, Kentucky Calvert City, Kentucky Pikesville, Maryland Comstock Northwest, Michigan Mason, Michigan Royal Oak, Michigan Moorhead, Minnesota Cayuga Heights, New York Greenville, North Carolina Huber Heights, Ohio New Miami, Ohio Richmond, Ohio Mill City, Oregon East Norriton, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania West Goshen, Pennsylvania Columbia, South Carolina Red Hill, South Carolina Lexington, Tennessee Fort Worth, Texas Moody, Texas Leesburg, Virginia Woodbridge, Virginia