Liatris Aspera lives under the genus Liatris and the family Asteraceae, where asters, daisies and sunflowers are also categorized. This wildflower was reportedly first found by Lewis and Clark, just like the Godetia, except the liatris is native to the mid to eastern region of the United States, as well as some parts of Mexico, mostly making its home in areas like dry prairies and dry savannas.
This perennial flower has a reputation of being difficult to grow, but it also has a reputation of making an eye-catching accent to any garden. It is also a preferred flower for gardeners to grow because deer and other wildlife tend to stray away from the Liatris, as it has a most bitter and unpleasant taste to them. However, butterflies love the blazing star and it is not uncommon to find many flocking to rest on them.
The blazing star blooms around mid-late summer and takes at least a full year to see any blossoms from the time a seed is planted, and up to another two years before the plant is fully formed. It prefers loose, fertile soil that drains well and it also loves to sunbathe. So if you do attempt to plant this flower, choose a sunny spot.
Identifying this flower is fairly easy. Look for characteristics like spiky clusters of purple (or sometimes white) flower heads, blooming similarly to the shape of a mop head. Another characteristic to look out for is its height. Ranging from an average of 2-4 feet tall, the liatris has several flower heads that grow off of this tall, sturdy stem. Also pay attention to how these flower heads bloom and open from the top of the flower stalk down. Lastly, their leaves should look long and thin, growing up the stem alternately and unevenly. With characteristics like these, it’s no wonder this flower is more commonly referred to as the blazing star.
With the meaning of joy, bliss and happiness, the liatris is often given as a romantic gift. Many florists recommend them for anniversaries or occasions like Valentine’s Day to express happiness in the relationship. This flower also dries well for dried bouquets and other crafts.