In late summer or early autumn the erect spikes appear, densely clothed with small fluffycoloured pink or pale purple Look at the spike closely to spot the unusual feature – the blooms open from the top downwards The foliage is grass-like and the plants will live for many years provided the soil is not waterlogged in winter. Add peat or well-rotted before planting and mulch in the spring. Water when the weather is dry and remove the spikes when the flowers have faded. Mark the of the plant with a small stick as all traces of the clump will disappear in winter and new growtn can be damaged when hoeing in spring before the new appear
VARIETIES: L. spicata is the species you are most likely to find – height 1.5 ft. Spacing 1.5 ft.
Flowering period: August-September. The popular variety is ‘Kobold’ (mauve; broader spikes than the species) ‘Silver Tips’ (3 ft) is taller and the flowers are lavender L. callilepis is also a tall-growing plant, producing 2-3 ft spikes of carmine flowers
SITE AND SOIL: L. spicata nourishes in moist soil but goodin winter is essential – thrives in sun or light shade.
PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring