DOTTED BLAZING STAR Liatris punctata
Liatris punctata also known by the common names dotted gayfeather, dotted blazingstar, and narrow-leaved blazingstar. It is native to North America, where it occurs throughout the plains of central Canada, the central United States, and northern Mexico.
This perennial produces one or more erect stems 14 to 85 cm (6 in to 2 ft 9 in) tall. They grow from a thick taproot 1.3 to 5 m (4 ft 3 in to 16 ft 5 in) deep that produces rhizomes. The heads contain several flowers which are usually purple, but sometimes white. This species is long-lived, with specimens estimated to be over 35 years old.
It is drought-tolerant because of its deep roots, though it does become less abundant in times of drought. It is also fire-tolerant, able to re-sprout from its rhizome and disperse its wind-carried seeds to soil cleared of litter by fire. On plains and prairies it grows with many types of grasses.
Type: Hardy perennial
Height: 2 feet, 24 inches, 60 cm
Location: Sun or part sun
Hardiness zones: 3-9
Seeds per pack: 10
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container at room temperature for 2 weeks (they will not grow yet), and then place them in a clear plastic bag (to retain moisture), and in a refrigerator for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container back at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period. They require some patience, but are well worth the effort!