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Liatris spicata Kobold


Gay Feather

Long flowering

Dumpy spikes of fluffy deep mauve flowers are bound to cause comment when seen through the summer months. They are produced over a long season from a base of narrow olive green leaves. Excellent for flower arranging and an unusual addition to a summer border.


Happiest at the front of a border in full sun.


Best in a well drained soil. Place some coarse grit or sand in the base of the planting hole and sit the plant directly onto this to help with winter drainage. Back fill with gritty soil. Cut back old stems in late spring when the new leaves are spotted.

This plant is very unusual in that it flowers 'back to front'. The flower spikes open from the top downwards whereas most plants open their lower flowers first and work their way up the stem.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Perennial herbaceous
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available May - September
Season of interest Summer
Flowering June - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 10 cm - 50 cm
Plant width 10 cm - 50 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 30 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Sand, Chalk, Loam
Light exposure Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Wildlife garden, Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds, City garden, Courtyard garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From May to September