Prairie Blazing Star, Tall Blazing Star, Kansas Gayfeather, Cattail Gayfeather

Liatris pycnostachya

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Liatris (ly-AT-riss) (Info)
Species: pycnostachya (pik-no-STAK-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Liatris pycnostachya var. pycnostachya



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Morrilton, Arkansas

Aurora, Illinois

Chadwick, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois

Yale, Iowa

Calvert City, Kentucky

Eddyville, Kentucky

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Beatrice, Nebraska

Hudson, New Hampshire

Jersey City, New Jersey

Buffalo, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Ithaca, New York

Watertown, New York

Greensboro, North Carolina

Viola, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Irving, Texas

Cascade, Virginia

Palmyra, Virginia

Puyallup, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Appleton, Wisconsin

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Muscoda, Wisconsin

Westfield, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 16, 2014, Chillybean from (Zone 5a) wrote:

If I had to pick a favourite colour, purple is it! And this flower has such a beautiful colour. We bought two cultivars from the nursery two years ago and they are still coming up. An interesting thing is sometimes their first flowering is white, but then is purple every year after.

The area is shaded part of the day and once or twice a year gets flooded from the run-off of the surrounding industrial fields. Oh, I cringe when that happens with all the chemicals they place on those things... I hardly remember to water the plants, so they usually just get what the Creator provides. But so far, our Blazing Star is doing well.

One bad thing about this is if you have it surrounded by lawn and you are yanking up those grasses, the early leaves resemble what yo... read more


On May 3, 2008, KSBaptisia from Beatrice, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

It is a beautiful plant, but needs competition./ support or it is likely to flop.


On Jan 17, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

The flowers are pollinated primarily by long-tongued bees, butterflies, and skippers. Other visitors include Halictine bees, bee flies, and day-flying moths. Among the long-tongued bees, are such visitors as honeybees, bumblebees, Little Carpenter bees, Miner bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. Butterfly visitors include Monarchs, Swallowtails, Painted Ladies, Sulfurs, Whites, and others. The caterpillars of the rare Schinia gloriosa (Glorious Flower Moth) feed on the flowers and seed capsules. Various mammalian herbivores readily consume Prairie Blazingstar. Younger plants may be eaten by rabbits and groundhogs, while mature plants are likely targets of deer or livestock. Small rodents, such as the Prairie Vole and Meadow Vole, sometimes eat the corms. An overpopulation of these animals ca... read more


On Jan 13, 2005, wildkiwi97 from Eddyville, KY wrote:

I planted bulbs last spring and didn't expect much the first year, but all of them came up and bloomed beautifully! They didn't need any special attention, just your regular care and maintenance.


On May 16, 2004, lightningbug from Buffalo, MN wrote:

I relocated from the deep south zone 8 to far north zone 3-4. bought a home in Rockford, MN and started with a few perinneals 2 yrs ago and this year am adding liatris. I hope it works, the garden tag said zone 3, please tell me I'm right. I will keep all posted on my success or failure regarding this plant. Wish me luck!!!!.