Gayfeather is the common name for Liatris spicata, a lovely native plant that attracts butterflies, bumble bees, and other insects. It also provides seeds for the birds during the winter if you don't cut it back in the fall.
The flowers are like pinkish-purple fairy wands, and another common name is blazing star.
The plant has thin 10" long bright green leaves like grass, and the plant grows 3-4 ft tall and flowers mid to late summer when we are happy to have flowers that do well in hot weather. A little afternoon shade is good for this plant, and it will tolerate dry soil. It will grow well on a slope as it must have good drainage in winter. I have mine next to my gaillardia (blanket flower) plants, which also bloom in summer and enjoy good drainage in winter. They make a good combination in Zones 3-9.
I ordered my blazing stars from Amanda's Native Garden Perennial Nursery, and they seem to enjoy my zone 6 garden. Deer do eat them, occasionally, so I spray them, but I also cut a lot for pretty summer bouquets. Fall is a good time to get these lovely natives planted in your flower garden.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on Liatris spicata.