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The newest addition to our perennial garden joy is Liatris Corms, a tall, stalky, white-flowering plant from the genus Solidago. The corms, which look like tall, thin roots, are still attached to the plant after harvest. They can be eaten raw and toasted, in soups, used in teas, or dried to crush and take as a supplement.Liatris is a summer-blooming perennial with grassy foliage and fuzzy, bottle-brush flowers. Commonly known as blazing star or gayfeather, this North American wildflower makes an attractive addition to flower gardens, cutting gardens, landscaped areas and informal plantings. The distinctive flower spikes stand 2 to 4-feet-tall and are magnets for butterflies.
Also, most of these flowers grow from bulb masses called corms. These are very similar to bulbs, in that they are an underground stem which produces the roots and stem/stalk for the flowers. As the Liatris plant ages and the years accumulate, the Liatris corm mass will grow larger and larger. Eventually, the oldest corms in the center of the plant will wither and cease to produce foliage or flowers. When this happens, it is time to divide the plant! During blooming, or after blooming the plant is expending all of it’s available energy to making seeds, or making flowers. Do not divide Liatris Spicata (or any other perennial) when they are blooming. Also, do not divide while they are forming seeds just after blooming. It is also not a good idea to divide a plant when it has been actively growing for some time. Transplant shock at this stage can generally kill a plant. So do not do it.
Terminal and axillary buds of Liatris corms require cold treatment for flower induction and release from dormancy. The terminal and a few axillary buds closest to the terminal one develop into flower buds after chilling. The remaining axillary buds may develop into vegetative shoots which initiate daughter corms on top of the mother corm. Development and growth of the buds into flowering and vegetative shoots take place progressively and simultaneously. However, rapid increase in size of the daughter corms takes place after the inflorescences are cut. Vegetative shoots closest to the inflorescences initiate bigger daughter corms than the outermost ones. Hence, the duration of daughter corms' growth to maturity and their growth rate vary with their position on the mother corm. Growth and flowering of Liatris takes place any time in Kenya, provided the planting corms are given adequate low-temperature treatment. (Source: www.ishs.org)