Liatris Blazing Star (L. spicatum) is a flowering evergreen shrub or small tree native to the Mediterranean region. It grows up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, making it one of the largest trees in its genus. Its leaves are opposite, oval shaped and have four leaflets each, which are arranged like a cross between a heart and an X. The name “blazing star” comes from the bright red color of its flowers.
The species was first described in 1783 by German botanist Johann Friedrich Blaise von Welsbach. It’s common names include the Spanish flamingo and the flaming star. Blazing stars are often grown as houseplants because they’re easy to care for and provide a lovely display of blooms year round. They make excellent house plants because their branches don’t droop down too much, so they look great hanging off walls or even placed on top of tables.
Blazing star liatris is sometimes called the Spanish flamingo because it looks similar to a flamingo, but its flower colors are brighter than those of a regular flamingo. The flowers of blazing star liatris are bright red and resemble tiny suns. They last only one day before fading away completely. You’ll want to wait until after the night time hours to see them bloom since they’re most spectacular at sunrise and sunset.
The species is an ancient one, but it has been cultivated in gardens for hundreds of years. It’s thought that L. spicatum may have been brought over from Turkey or North Africa by the Moors in a.d.
711 and then spread through other parts of Europe during the age of discovery. By the 1800s, it was quite popular among ornamental plant collectors and is now sometimes referred to as an Old World garden classic.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of prescribed fire on the reproductive ecology of northern blazing star Liatris scariosa var. novae-angliae by P Vickery – The American midland naturalist, 2002 – BioOne
The effects of fire on resource allocation and growth of Liatris spicata by RJ Medve – American Midland Naturalist, 1987 – JSTOR
The plantss database (http://plants. usda. gov, May 2011). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro by N USDA – 2015 – nrcs.usda.gov