Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Liatris spicata

Dense blazing star, Dense gayfeather, Dense liatris, Marsh blazing star, Marsh gayfeather, Marsh liatris

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Liatris spicata (Dense blazing star)
Makin, Julie
Dense gayfeather or marsh blazing star is an erect, slender perennial reaching a height of 3-4 ft. The linear, grass-like leaves are clumped toward the base of the plant, but extend up the stem to the showy flower cluster. A tall spike of rayless, rose-purple (sometimes white), closely set flower heads. The purple, tufted flower heads are arranged in a long, dense spike blooming from the top down.

The species name describes the elongated inflorescence, with its crowded, stalkless flower heads. The protruding styles give the flower an overall feathery appearance, hence its alternate name, Dense Gayfeather.

Image Gallery:

22 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 3-4
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MA , MI , MS , MO , NJ , NY , NC , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV , WI , DC
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: NJ to MI & IL, s. to FL & LA; naturalized northeastward
Native Habitat: Moist, wood openings; mesic prairies; marsh edges

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, average soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Use Wildlife: Butterflies frequent Liatris spp.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds

Last Update: 2014-09-24