Gayfeather, Liatris mucronata, is a perennial, xeriscapic, deer resistant plant that is native to Texas. This beautiful plant is often seen in pastures and along road ways in Texas. Its purple spike bloom is hard to miss.
Blooms and Leaves:
Even though one would not be able to tell by looking, this plant is a member of the sunflower family. The dark green leaves on this plant are upward arching and are arranged alternately on the stem. The stems and leaves form clumps from which the flower spike rises out. These clumps can be 1 to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide. The flowers, which appear generally from July to October, are some of the tallest that will be seen and some of the most beautiful with their purple-pink spikes and tassels. The flower spike will have blooms on it for a long time as the flower heads or tassels will bloom successively beginning at the top of the spike and heading downward.
Caring for a Gayfeather plant begins with where it is planted. Soil requirement is not hard to meet. It will do good in gravelly, sandy, calcareous soil. It does prefer medium to dry soil though. Sunlight requirements are full sun.
Propagation of Gayfeather plants is done several ways. Rhizomes can be collected and divided, then planted or seeds can be collected, cleaned and planted. Gayfeather plants will also self-seed if they are growing in a sandy soil.
Uses for Gayfeather plants range from being a plant that is eaten by wildlife to one of the treasured beauties in the flowerbed. They are great for cut flowers as well as for butterfly gardens, hummingbird gardens and more. Gayfeather plants are also good for a rocky hillside, a perennial garden and even a rock garden.
Gayfeather plants are another species of plants native to Texas that can be at home in a pasture or in a manicured flowerbed. They adapt very well, especially in most Texas growing conditions including dry, hot and even humid areas. Another plus is that they do not require a lot of pampering, making them one of the few that can be almost planted then forgotten and they will do their best to brighten up your yard or garden. This plant may be just what your landscape needs. Give it a try.