Liatris is a genus of North American perennial plants with tuberous root-stocks, commonly known as snakeroot. The erect-growing flower-stems are clothed with smallish leaves, many being excellent for cutting. Liatris will grow in any good garden soil, but seem to object to being planted deeply. The flowers appear during August and September, the spikes opening from the top downwards instead of the usual, opposite way.

Propagation is by careful division of the tuberous roots in spring and autumn or, in most cases, by seed sown in the usual way with hardy perennials.


Species: L. callilepis produces 3-ft spikes of purple-magenta, often as early as July, its showiness making it attractive as a cut flower, L. elegans, 3 ft, sometimes more, has purple flowers. L. punctata, 2-3 ft, violet-purple flowers, is notable for its brown-spotted leaf-stems. L. pycnostachya, in spite of its name, is popular with florists, often growing 4 ft with attractive spikes of pale purple. Other species include L. scariosa, 3-ft, large purple flowers; L. spicata, 2-3 ft, lovely mauve, and L. squarrosa, 2-3 ft, bright purple.

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