Common Names: Liatris, Gay Feather, Purple Poker, Blazing Star

Botanical names: Liatris, (lei-AH-tris)

Availability: Year round

Vase life: 7 to 14 days

Storage temperatures: 36 - 38 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: No

Description: Long, straight stems topped with a single straight spike clustered with tiny florets. Liatris is an unusual blossom in that the florets open at the top of the spike first, then open downward.

Color: Lavender and white

Botanical facts: Liatris in native to North America. The corms (roots) are edible.

Design notes: Excellent for creating a strong line in arrangements. Very popular in contemporary floral design.

Purchasing hints: Purchase long straight stems with no more than three quarters of the florets open at the top.

Conditioning: Remove all foliage that will be below the waterline. Cut with a sharp knife. Hydrate in a solution of water and commercial floral food for two hours before storage or usage.

Additional notes: Liatris does dry well. The dried product should be sprayed with a sealant to prevent shattering. One very unusual aspect of this species is that the flowers on the spike open from the top down, not from the bottom up as most spike type flowers.