Liatris ‘Kobold’ is this week’s Plant of the Week here at Grimm’s Gardens. In my garden and out trial gardens, this wonderful native perennial is setting up a season long show among the blazingstars. Liatris spicata is the spike blazingstar, and ‘Kobold’ is a cultivar. It is the first blazingstar to bloom in the garden.
Blazingstars, formerly known as gayfeathers, are natives in the sunflower family. They have very showy blooms, ranging from bright pink to purple or even white. The flowers bloom along stalks, from top to bottom.
The flowers are very attractive to pollinators, especially bees and butterflies. I often observe sunflower bees and other bumblebees on the flowers throughout summer. Spike blazingstars bloom in July. https://berkeleysciencereview.com/article/flight-of-the-sunflower-bee/
While there are a few native moths that feed on the foliage and flowers, there are no major insect pests. If planted to densely or in high humidity, the leaves can develop bacterial leaf spots. These will not kill the plants.
Spike blazingstars grow from corms and are easy to plant or divide. I like to do divisions of these perennials in late summer or fall. Planting can be done anytime, spring through fall. They are very tough and drought tolerant. Plant them in full to part sun, in clay or well-drained soils.
I like this cultivar of our native blazingstar because it does not flop, but stands upright. It is a good perennial to mix with black-eyed Susans or purple coneflowers. – Nadine Champlin, Landscape Designer at Prairie Place Designs
Liatris ‘Kobold’ is a great addition to the front of a garden border. I like to mix it with the white spike blazingstar for double flower power! – Andrew Mitchell, Landscape Maintenance Supervisor at Grimm’s Gardens
Go to http://www.grimmsgardens.com/shop/ to find this perennial and other plants for your garden. Happy planting!