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Kobold Original Blazing Star is a little dynamo. This hardy Spirit bursts through the ground in spring with its strappy leaves, quickly making a lush mound of foliage. In summer, rosy lavender flower spikes arise. The perky, petite bloom spikes not only make for a dapper vertical element at the front of your beds and borders, but also summon every butterfly in the neighborhood! In fall, the flowers become fluffy seedheads that catch the light in an enchanting way. The foliage transforms itself, too, taking on crimson and bronzy orange tones. Simply delightful.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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Spike Blazing Star is a native wildflower that can be found all over the eastern U.S. from north to south. It usually grows in moist meadows and reaches about 3 or 4 feet tall. The variety of Spike Blazing Star known as Kobold is a German introduction that has been around for quite a while. Kobold is the German world for “Elf” and refers to the selection’s smaller-than-average size, about 2 or 2 ½ feet. This variety is often propagated by seed, which has led to a lot of variation in height. Eventually, growers selected the most compact version they could find (14 in.) and began to propagate it vegetatively, so it would always remain the same. They called it ‘Kobold Original’.
Kobold Original Blazing Star just has to be different. Have you ever noticed that nearly all plants open their flower clusters from the bottom to the top? (They do.) Kobold Original opens its blossoms from the top to the bottom. Blazing Star makes an excellent cut flower, and because of its unique blooming habit, the top of the spike may be snipped off as the old flowers fade, keeping the bouquet looking fresh.
How to Grow
Spirits don’t get much easier to grow than Kobold Original Blazing Star. This tough native perennial prefers a site in full sun, though some afternoon shade isn’t a bad idea in very hot climates. Give it regular summer water for best performance. Soil should be well drained; overly wet soils in winter can be fatal. With its fluffy seedheads, Kobold Original Blazing Star remains attractive into winter. When it starts to break down, cut it down to clear the way for new green growth in spring.
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