Monarch Butterflies #1 Favorite Nectar Source

By Abby Lapides

From the great prairies of Missouri and the Midwest comes the outstanding Meadow Blazing Star, Liatris ligulistylis. It brings flamboyant displays to the sunny garden with its brilliant purple spires that attract swarms of butterflies. From midsummer into fall its tall flowers stalks are adorned with rich rosy-purple florets. Ideal for cottage gardens and naturalized areas, it also works beautifully in more formal settings where strong vertical accents are wanted.

A top choice for butterflies, many consider it the #1 favorite nectar plant for Monarch butterflies. Finches adore its tasty seeds. Meadow Blazing Star makes a beautiful cut flower. This Missouri native perennial easily grows in full sun and average, well-drained soil, and even tolerates poor soil. Plants grow 3-5’ tall. In rich soil, the plants grow tallest and may need staking. Although tolerant of drought, it benefits from deep watering.

Meadow Blazing Star won the Perennial of the Year award by the GreatPlants program. The goal of GreatPlants is to bring superior ornamental landscape plants into gardens to meet the challenging growing conditions of the Great Plains.

For more Missouri native plants visit www.sugarcreekgardens.com.