Blazing Star, Liatris spicata

Marsh blazing star, in the Asteraceae (daisy or aster) family, is a clump-forming perennial that typically grows 3 to 6 feet tall. It is native to the eastern United States and is most often found in moist areas or growing in meadows. In NC it is found in the coastal and Piedmont areas. The tall spikes of flowers bloom from the top down, are showy and attract pollinators. The foliage is grass-like and grows in clumps.

This low-maintenance plant prefers average to moist, well-drained soils that range from acidic to neutral in pH. It grows well in full sun to partial shade and also tolerates summer heat and humidity. This particular species does better in moist soils than some other blazing stars. The plant has corms with shallow fibrous roots and can produce new colonies from its corms, though it most often propagates by seed.

It is very attractive in mass plantings in a pollinator garden, rain garden, perennial border, native plant garden, or a cottage garden.

Photo by Kathleen Moore, CC BY 4.0

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.