Meadow Blazingstar for Monarch Butterflies
Liatris ligulistylis common names: Meadow blazing star, Meadow Gayfeather ,Northern plains blazingstar, Rocky Mountain blazing star, Rocky mountain gayfeather, Showy blazing-star, Round-headed blazingstar
Liatris Ligulistylis Plant Specs
- Perennial: USDA hardiness zones 3-8 (lows -40 °C or -40 °F)
- Native Plant: Upper midwest and Western Canada (Co, Il, Ia, Mn, Mo, Mt, NM, ND, SD, Wi, Wy, Al, Sk, Mb)
- Full sun to part shade
- Average water needs; do not over water
- Height: 4 to 6 feet
- Spacing: 1 to 2 ft
- Flowers: purplish flower spikes on tall stems
- Leaves: thin, green, upright
- Blooms late summer to early fall: August into September
Liatris Ligulistylis Pros
- Ultimate Monarch Magnet during early monarch migration
- Long lasting liatris – bursting blooms for up to 6 weeks
- Height makes it easy to view butterflies feeding
- Flowers are showier than other liatris species
- Can grow in poor soils
- Compels monarchs to stay in your garden for hours: mating, frolicking, synchronized group flights…you really have to see it!
- Pest and disease resistant
Liatris Ligulistylis Cons
- Doesn’t bloom until late summer, but worth the wait
- Tall stalks can require staking
- Spring planted seeds and small plants won’t flower first year
- Not commonly sold in nurseries. Don’t settle for other liatris species…the monarchs sure won’t!
Meadow Blazing Star Plant Propagation
- Sow seeds directly outside in fall- November is a good option for most regions
- Start seeds indoors before final frost
- Sow seeds directly after final frost
- Divide large clumps in spring with a sharp knife or shovel
- Winter sowing is a good option for controlling plant placement
Liatris Ligulistylis Growing Tips
- Plant at least 10 together for max monarch attraction- we have about 50 plants now which don’t start blooming at exactly the same time. This gives us about a 6 week bloom period with our patch.
- You can also extend the liatris effect by adding Liatris aspera (rough or button blazing star). This is a shorter liatris variety that blooms a few weeks earlier. It’s also popular with monarchs, and is a good appeteaser to the meadow main event.
- Alternatively, you can extend the season later into fall by planting Liatris Scariosa (northern blazingstar).
- Once your liatris ligulistylis eclipses 4 feet, use stakes and plant support clips to keep the stalks from flopping over, allowing you to better see the feeding frenzy.
- Good for perennial borders
- Meadow blazingstar can be planted/divided in spring or fall– we divided in fall with great results.
- Once established, you can add plants through division and seeding. The seedlings resemble grass, but they have a distinct line running through the middle of the ‘blade’.
- Cut- if the stalks start to lean after flowers bloom, you can cut back your plants to avoid staking…just cut below the lowest spent bloom
Besides monarchs, meadow blazing star is popular with bumble bees, hairstreak butterfly, hummingbirds, painted lady butterfly, red admirals, sulphur butterflies, swallowtail spp. Goldfinches love the seeds.
Please comment below if you’ve seen other butterflies sipping nectar from Liatris ligulistylis. This type of info is rarely listed so your input can help others make the best decisions for their precious garden space.
To say the effect of this plant is ‘magical’ is not an exaggeration. If you have monarchs in your area or just traveling through, this plant will make your garden a hotspot destination.
Buy Liatris Ligulistylis Plant and Seeds
Always purchase seeds and plants by botanical (scientific) name. Liatris ligulistylis has a variety of common names that could mislead you to purchase the wrong plant:
- Meadow Blazingstar Plants and Seeds from JB
- Liatris ligulistylis from Etsy
- Liatris ligulistylis PLANTS
- 5 Purple Butterfly Flowers
Find More Purple Flower Favorites on our Butterfly Plants Page
Liatris ligulistylis in your butterfly garden: