Liatris - a flower from the American dream
Do you know how to become a millionaire? You can win a million in the famous television game, but you can find a little-known, but beautiful and unpretentious flower in nature, invest in its reproduction and advertising and get rich. This is exactly what happened with some entrepreneurial American. Once on a walk, he drew attention to a jacket of bright unusual colors. They had strong densely leafy stems, slightly similar to stems of lilies, and spike-shaped inflorescences of a bluish-purple color, resembling a brush for washing dishes. A thick bumblebee busily examined each flower in an inflorescence, several butterflies fluttered from place to place, as if afraid that they would not get fragrant nectar.
The plant lover liked the flower so much that he transplanted it into his garden. Later it turned out that this is a spiny lyatris from the family Astrovidae and that he has a wonderful “character”. Liatris prefers fertilized, drained soils and bright places. It is under such conditions that it is especially luxurious: sometimes numerous flower stalks reach 2 m, and the length of the inflorescence reaches 35 cm. Under less favorable conditions, this plant is about 60 cm high and has fewer flower stalks in the bush. During drought, the lithatrix requires watering, but at the same time does not tolerate waterlogging of the soil. Therefore, in damp places it is better not to plant it. But it is winter-hardy.
The lyatris propagates by seeds and division of tubers. A great many seeds are formed on the plant. They have good germination and when sowing usually emerge "brush". During the growth of the first true leaf, the lyatris seedlings have a very characteristic appearance, at this time they can not be confused with anything: they look like miniature swords stuck with a handle into the ground. Seedlings bloom in the second or third year.
As the lyatris grows and develops, numerous tuberous roots form in a dense ball. They can also be used for reproduction. It is better to divide plants in the spring when leaves begin to appear from the earth. Separate tuberous rhizomes, into which the dug nest is divided, look like corms of crocuses. The largest - up to 2 cm in diameter - will probably bloom in the same summer, small ones require growing.
Root rhizomes are planted to a depth of 5-10 cm, at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other. Liatris blooms in July-August. In the lyatris, even the inflorescence is original. As a rule, in other plants with spike-shaped inflorescences, the flowers bloom from top to bottom. The lyatris has the opposite, at first the upper flowers open, and at the end of flowering - the lower ones.
Nectar produced by flowers attracts bees, bumblebees, butterflies and other insects.
Liatris looks great in mixborders, rockeries, flower beds. The flowers cut into a bouquet stand in the water for a long time, retaining an attractive appearance, and dried plants can be used for winter compositions.
That was such a wonderful plant lyatris. The businessman’s desire to introduce other people to this miracle of nature coincided with his desire to get rich. So in America a new millionaire was born, and the spiny lyatris became known throughout the world.
Since then, not only new garden forms have been obtained, for example, lyatris with white flowers, but even new varieties with longer inflorescences (Callilepis) or unusual flower colors (Blue Bird) than the original species.
- L. Turmovich, gardener