Friday, August 10, 2007

Butterfly Magnet

The monarch butterflies really like this plant. It's a tall variety of liatris, reaching about 5 feet tall.


kris said...

Cool - I've never seen one that gets that tall.

peter hoh said...

I found a description of a tall variety online, but the photo that went with it did not match my plant. A gardening friend tells me that liatris are promiscuous hybridizers. Something tells me that's not a scientific term, but I understood what she meant.

I first noticed this growing in my garden in the spring of 2006. I nearly pulled it out, thinking it was a weed. Good thing I was patient, as it did not bloom until late July or August.

It's possible that I had purchased it in 2005, but it failed to thrive that first year. It's also possible that I received it in a fall plant exchange. Or else it started from seed in my garden, as I have established liatris plants not far from where this grew.

This spring, I noticed that it was struggling. Poking around, I discovered that the base of the old stem was rotting. I dug it out and divided it as best I could, transplanting a clean bit of root and a shoot.