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Naba Certified Butterfly Gardens

In July and August, the back bone of this small garden is a dense planting of dense blazing star (Liatris spicata).

Certified Garden in Northern New Jersey

Liatris spicata

Planted en mass, dense blazing star (Liatris spicata) begins blooming in early July around the same time as swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). Swallowtail on LiatrisAfter the milkweed has finished it's bloom period, dense blazing star is still going strong, as new flowers open sequentially along the flower spike.

This particular planting of dense blazing star consists entirely of the cultivar 'Kobold'. Selected for it's short, bushy growth, Kobold works well at the front of the garden bed.

Planted among the dense blazing star are daylilies (which are not a butterfly garden plant) that were selected for scape (or flower stalk) heights of 16 to 20 inches. By choosing scapes of these heights, along with the planting exclusively the 'Kobold' cultivar, the daylily flowers mingle at the same level as the blazing star spikes, giving contrast in both flower form and color.

The fine grass-like leaves of the dense blazing star mingle well with the strap-like leaves of the daylilies creating a neutral green background that lets the flowers take center stage.

Dense blazing star is a nectar plant that is attractive to a wide variety of butterflies. Like other plants in the Aster family, the flowers open over a long time period.