On the primary day of August 2006, my botanizing companion and I have been making solely our third journey to a barrens on a farm owned by pals in Kentucky. We already knew that this spot by no means appeared the identical twice, so we had few expectations as to what we would see. Our delight on arrival can hardly be described. So far as the attention might see was a sea of shades of purple, pink, and white. My designer mind instantly kicked in—if solely I might replicate this in somebody’s backyard!
Scaly liatris is usually present in dry sandy prairies and barrens. It’s pretty uncommon, being shorter than most different Liatris species. When grown in a backyard state of affairs in respectable soil, this plant seems all the higher for the additional vitamins and water it will get. It might have a extra “roundy-moundy” look, it flowers for an prolonged time frame (all through summer season), and, in contrast to most different liatris, it may be divided. It additionally attracts a plethora of pollinators, making it each a gardener’s and an entomologist’s dream.
A much less apparent attribute of this perennial is its engaging seed heads (although the stage simply previous to immature seed could be a tad ugly for some time), and for these of us who wish to develop our personal vegetation, the seeds are usually not troublesome to gather and develop on. has been long-lived for me, and I’ve not encountered any critical illnesses or pests, although deer will munch on it sometimes. It’s a prairie native definitely value in search of out and is bound to catch consideration.
Situations: Full solar; dry, sandy, well-drained soil
Native vary: Jap and central United States
Hilary Cox is an Arizona-based horticulturist, backyard designer, and photographer. She is the co-author of The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops.