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Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet' - Floristan Violet blazing star from New Moon Nurseries

Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet' - Floristan Violet blazing star from New Moon Nurseries

Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet'

Floristan Violet blazing star

Native to North America (cultivar)


FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Liatris spicata ’Floristan Violet’ is a free flowering gayfeather cultivar.  The stems are covered in attractive long narrow leaves.  In summer foliage is topped by creamy white spiky flowers and surrounded by a bevy of butterflies.  Plants prosper in sunny sites with moist well drained soil.

HABITAT & HARDINESS:  The parent Liatris spicata occurs in Ontario and Quebec, from Massachusetts to Florida and west to Wisconsin and Louisiana.  The species is indigenous to moist prairies, Blackland prairies, edges of bogs and marshes, calcareous seeps, moist alkaline sandflats and sunny moist rights-of-way.

The ‘Floristan Violet’ cultivar produces multiple sturdy erect stems.  In summer dense gleaming white spiky inflorescences appear.  This is a floriferous cultivar that was developed in Germany for the cut flower market.  ‘Floristan Violet’ is generally a seed grown cultivar with very slight variations in height, flower size and bloom time. 

This cultivar is hardy from USDA Zones 2-9.

PLANT DESCRIPTION:  Liatris spicata ’Floristan Violet’ is a clumping perennial that produces multiple green rigid leafy stems.  The upright stalks originate from rounded woody underground corms.  

Foliage is long, narrow and grass-like.  The largest basal leaves are less than 1/2” wide and 5” or longer.  Blades become progressively smaller as the stalks rise.  

Foliage is topped by fat wand-like inflorescences composed of many violet disc florets. 

The floral display commences in early summer and lasts for 3-4 weeks.  Flower heads mature into soft tufts of fluffy golden brown achenes.

Plants average 3’ tall with a 1’ spread. 

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS:  Liatris spicata ’Floristan Violet’ flourishes in sunny sites with moist humus rich sandy loams. 

Plants tolerate heavier loams, clay, gravelly or calcareous soils.  They also prosper in heat, humidity and drought.

Rabbits, deer and livestock nibble the foliage and stems.  The corms are a favored food of meadow voles or prairie voles.  A large population of these rodents can decimate a stand of this lovely cultivar.

In rich soils, shaded sites or excessive moisture, plants may need to be staked to prevent flopping. 

This variety may self-sow.  If this is an issue, deadhead after flowering before seed mature.

LANDSCAPE USES:  This species adapts easily to sunny gardens with average soil.  Plants are used most often to inject a strong vertical Accent or as Groupings or Mass plantings for Meadow Gardens or Perennial Borders.  Liatris spicata ’Floristan Violet’ has Showy Blooms that serve as long lasting Cut Flowers.  Plants are appropriate for Butterfly Gardens, Cottage Gardens, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings and Wildlife Gardens.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS:  Try pairing Liatris spicata ’Floristan Violet’ with Andropogon gerardii, Aster novae-angliae, Echinacea purpurea, Eupatorium hyssopifoliumHelenium autumnale or Rudbeckia subtomentosa.

If a shorter cultivar with rosy purple flowers is acceptable, Liatris spicata ‘Kolbold’ could be a suitable replacement. 

TRIVIA:  Liatris spicata ’Floristan Violet’ attracts beneficial bees, skippers, butterflies, hummingbird moths and hummingbirds. 

The typical daisy-like flowers of the Aster Family consist of a cluster of disc florets surrounded by a ring of petal-like ray florets.  Liatris spp. has only disc florets and no ray florets so the spiky inflorescence has a bottlebrush appearance.

Blooming of all Liatris spp. begins at the top of the flower stalk and progresses downward.



3 ft


1 ft


12-18 in

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Bloom Color:


Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet' Characteristics

Attracts Wildlife

  • Songbirds
  • Pollinators
  • Butterflies


  • Cut Flower
  • Clay Soil
  • Rain Garden
  • Drought Tolerant


  • Full Sun

Flowering Months

  • October
  • September
  • August
  • July

Foliage Color

  • Green

Growth Rate

  • Medium

Salt Tolerance

  • Medium

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Summer
  • Spring

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Moist

Plants that work well with Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet'

Scarlet Bee Balm Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Jacob Cline Bee Balm Jacob Cline Bee Balm (Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline')
Hyssop leaved boneset Hyssop leaved boneset (Eupatorium hyssopifolium)
White coneflower White coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan')
Purple coneflower Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Thread leaf tickseed Thread leaf tickseed (Coreopsis verticillata)
Fountain Grass Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ''Moudry'')
Fountain Grass Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ''Little Bunny'')
Purple stemmed aster Purple stemmed aster (Aster puniceus)
Big bluestem Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
Bushy bluestem Bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus)
Frosted Curls Sedge Frosted Curls Sedge (Carex comans 'Frosted Curls')
Common sneezeweed Common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
Ox-eye sunflower Ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)
PowWow White coneflower PowWow White coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow White')
Purple coneflower Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow Wild Berry')
Eastern beebalm Eastern beebalm (Monarda bradburiana)
Switch grass Switch grass (Panicum virgatum 'Cloud Nine')
Dwarf fountain grass Dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln')
New England aster New England aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Substitutions for Liatris spicata 'Floristan Violet'

Dense blazing star Dense blazing star (Liatris spicata)
Kobold Blazing star Kobold Blazing star (Liatris spicata 'Kobold')