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Author Topic: Liatris (blazing star, gay feather)  (Read 1589 times)
MrILoveTheAnts
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« on: July 08, 2008, 09:10:23 PM »

Liatris has started blooming here. Last year I planted a few, probably 10 or so, and the bees were very interested in them despite the small number of plants. The plant itself is a grass for most of the year and sends up a fairly compact tower of flowers. Well this spring I found one of the hardware stores here was selling them for 40 bulbs for about $7. I bought two!
As I expected no where near all 80 came up, but I still have a lot of them dotting the yard. Many are in various stages of flowering and should be blooming well into August I think. Some haven't even produced flower buds yet. What makes them even more attractive is colorful birds such as Goldfinches will eat at the plants when they go to seed.
I'd also note with these plants blooming I'm also starting to see the more colorful mason wasps taking interest. I'll be out all week trying to get pictures of those. 
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatrisbees.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatrisbees4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatrisbees3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatrisbees2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris9.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris8.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris7.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris6.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris5.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris12.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris11.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Liatris10.jpg

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poka-bee
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2008, 11:17:46 PM »

Beautiful!!  This reminded me that I planted some a few years ago...hmm wonder where that was??  I think the kiddlins ate them last year angry  Better go out & look!  Jody
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Shawn
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008, 02:03:15 AM »

Great pictures. From what I have seen the plant grows in zone 3. Im in the 5 zone. Do you think It will grow here. Like I said before if people post plants that attract the bees IM PLANTING them, if they will grow here.
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poka-bee
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 09:25:22 AM »

Shawn they should grow well there.  You just have to make sure that the plants you do plant aren't in a higher zone, such as 8-9. They generally can't take the cold!  Some plants though need the cold dormant time like tulips, daffodils etc. to do really well. Bulbs are great, they come back every year (unless baby goats ate em.. angry)n & usually naturalize well.  Good Luck!  Jody
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 10:20:01 AM »

Great shots! My liatris has a few bees, but the russian sage next to it gets more and my hyssop is blooming. Goldfinches love hyssop in  fall too.
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 12:59:44 PM »

I have some hyssop too, 3 great big plants as tall as me about. But they don't get much attention. I wonder if the variety matters.

I believe I'm zone 6 but zone 5's boarder is a town or two south of me.

Oh and to anyone in NJ, Camden County area. I visited Springdale Farm Market yesterday. It's in Cherry Hill and sort of an upscale nursery/bakery/rental hall/and cornfield maze in the fall. They have a greenhouse there with a Vitex in full bloom and covered with bees. Mostly bumblebees but it's still something to see. I'm going to call them up later and ask if they wouldn't mind if I brought my camera. I have a Vitex I planted this year and it's about to bloom, but I'm told there's is about 7 years old. They usually charge a $1 more for everything but they have a lot of variety there. I find things I don't normally get at other stores such as Butterfly Weed and Joe Pye Weed.

http://www.springdalefarms.com/index.html
Springdale Farm Market
1638 South Springdale Rd
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003-2738

Back to Liatris. I find bees tend to love prairie plants in general. And it's great how little space they take up. I really just planted them in small groups around other plants I had. Last year we had some white ones that the bees didn't touch. Since I've planed more of the pink ones around those and threw in some new soil they're all coming up pink, and the bees are going at them. I wonder why that is.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2008, 09:39:46 AM »

MILTA.  Those are some beautiful pics you got going on there.  I have always admired liatris, but never have put any stock into my gardens, I should, as I think they are so pretty.  If there are no bees on the hyssop, I would think there is something else they are loving more.  My hyssops are covered in bees, all the time that they bloom, which is well into September, or later.  My cultivar is 'Blue Fortune".  I take cuttings so the plants stay true to the parents.  Keep those pics coming, they are beautiful.  Have the most wonderful and awesome of these days.  Cindi
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