Herbs & Plants

Liatris punctata

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Botanical Name : Liatris punctata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Liatris
Species: L. punctata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Laciniaria punctata. (Hook.)Kuntze

Common Names ; Snakeroot, Dotted blazing star, Mexican blazing star, Nebraska blazing star

Habitat : Liatris punctata occurs in Alberta east to Manitoba in Canada, and in most of the central United States, its distribution extending into Mexico. There are three varieties, with var. punctata in western areas, var. nebraskana more common to the east, and var. mexicana in Oklahoma and Texas. It grows in dry prairies and plains.

Liatris punctata is a perennial herb produces one or more erect stems up to 80 centimetres (2.6 feet) tall. They grow from a thick taproot which may extend 5 m (16 ft) deep in the ground. It also has rhizomes. The inflorescence is a spike of several flower heads. The heads contain several flowers which are usually purple, but sometimes white. The fruit is an achene tipped with a long pappus. The plant reproduces sexually by seed and vegetatively by sprouting from its rhizome. This species is long-lived, with specimens estimated to be over 35 years old
It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation :
Grows well in a moderately good light soil. Tolerates poor soils. Plants are prone to rot overwinter in wet soils. A good bee plant. Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring[1]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Edible Uses: …….Root – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour when harvested in the spring and baked. Eating the root is said to improve the appetite.

Medicinal Uses:
Antipruritic; Diuretic; Poultice; Stomachic.

An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches, bloody urine and women’s bladder complaints. The root has been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of swollen testes. A decoction of the roots is used as a wash for itching skin complaints. A poultice of the boiled roots is applied to swelling.

Other Uses:
This plant is palatable to livestock and wild ungulates such as elk, white-tailed deer, and pronghorn. Its nectar is favored by lepidopterans, such as the rare butterfly Pawnee montane skipper (Hesperia leonardus montana), which is known to occur wherever the plant does. This plant species is considered good for revegetating prairie habitat. It is also used as an ornamental plant.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.