Like the other well-known purple hybrid name Kobold, Violet tolerates some shade, but it still prefers hot blazing sun and dry, loose soil.
Liatris: The Wildflower that became a florists darling. Whether you call it by its botanical name, Liatris or one of the more popular common names (Blazing Star or Gayfeather), you'll love this plant, just like hummingbirds and butterflies do. There are several species, all native American wildflowers, but the one most often seen is L. spicata and its also the one that's received the most attention from the hybridizers.
Blazing star has the odd habit of opening its fluffy flowers from the top of the spike down, instead of the other way around, as most flowers do. And even though it grows wild from Canada to Mexico, often in poor soil, it has some definite requirements. First of all, since this plant is a native of wide open spaces, it prefers full blazing sun, and gritty, fast-draining soil. Don't put it into super-rich mushy loam! In fact, if you do, the flower spikes may topple over from weakness. If you give it a hot, dry spot, the stems are always stiff and strong.
The Florists Darling In recent years, florists have discovered the dramatic look of this purple-spiked beauty, and have used it extensively in their more unusual arrangements, where its often paired with exotics like tropical ginger blooms or Bird of Paradise. The flower spikes are also big favorites for drying.
The roots are bulb-like, and you can start these flowers with seeds (from our Wildflower Seed Department) or perennial roots. Of course, developed roots are faster; Liatris takes two years to bloom from seed. Some of the perennial cultivars will even do well for you in partial shade, but be sure the plants stay dry most of the time.