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Monday - June 15, 2009

From: Sanderson, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Blazing stars plants in Sanderson, FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I planted some blazing stars & they did not come up.What is the best way to start them out?


The trouble with common names is that the same common name may refer to several totally different species of plants. From our Native Plant Database, we found 19 plants with the words "blazing star" in their common names. Seventeen of these were members of the genus Liatris, one was Mentzelia multiflora (Adonis blazingstar) and one, Chamaelirium luteum (fairywand), also called "Blazing Star". We are going to guess you are referring to the Liatris plants. Back to the Native Plant Database, we learned that 6 members of that genus are natives to Florida. Since at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are committed to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown, we will look at these six plants for some propagation information:

Liatris aspera (tall blazing star)

Liatris elegans (pinkscale blazing star)

Liatris pilosa var. pilosa (shaggy blazing star) - pictures

Liatris spicata (dense blazing star)

Liatris squarrosa (scaly blazing star)

Liatris tenuifolia (shortleaf blazing star) - pictures

On the webpage for Liatris aspera (tall blazing star), we found these Propagation Instructions:

"Description: Scarified seeds may be sown outside in late fall or stored, stratified and sown the following spring. Some sources suggest spring seedlings will appear by simply laying the flowering stalk in an outdoor seedbed and covering with 1/2 in. of soil in the fall.

Seed Collection: Wait until the flower heads on the entire stalk have turned fluffy tan before collecting. Bring the stalks inside to air-dry then shake or brush the nutlets from the heads. Seeds can be stored with chaff in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Scarification (lightly nick with knife) and stratification (3 months at 40 degrees).
Commercially Avail: yes"

These same instructions were on the pages of other of the Liatris. We are guessing that you may have planted at the wrong time, failed to scarify the seeds if you were going to plant them in the Spring, or perhaps had purchased or been given non-viable seeds.

Mentzelia multiflora

Chamaelirium luteum

Liatris aspera

Liatris spicata

Liatris squarrosa





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