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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Liatris aspera Michx.
Tall blazing star, Tall gayfeather, Rough blazing star, Button snakeroot
USDA Symbol: LIAS
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A spike of rounded, rayless, pinkish to lavender (sometimes white) flower heads along stiff erect stems covered with grayish hairs. One of the popular gayfeathers, this perennial has an erect, slightly zig-zag stem, 1-4 ft. tall. The stem is lined with short, narrow, bright-green leaves. Button-like, magenta-purple florets cover the upper 18-32 in. of the plant.
This species is distinguished by its roughness and rounded bracts. The origin of the genus name is unknown; the species name is Latin for rough. Found in eastern North America from the east coast west to Texas and the Dakotas and as far north as southern Ontario, where it is rare and listed by Canadas Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife as endangered.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Size Notes:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep
AL , AR , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NY , OH , OK , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV Canada: MB
, ON Native Distribution:
S. Ont. to WV & SC, w. to ND & e. TX Native Habitat:
Dry plains; prairies; thin woods USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy or rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought tolerant.
Butterflies frequent Liatris spp. Provides nectar
for butterflies such as: tiger swallowtail, clouded sulphur, orange sulphur, gray hairstreak, aphrodite fritillary, painted lady, red admiral, wood nymph (Wildtype) Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies , Hummingbirds Nectar Source:
Scarified seeds may be sown outside in late fall or stored, stratified and sown the following spring. Some sources suggest spring seedlings will appear by simply laying the flowering stalk in an outdoor seedbed and covering with 1/2 in. of soil in the fa Seed Collection:
Wait until the flower heads on the entire
stalk have turned fluffy tan before collecting. Bring the stalks inside to air-dry then shake or brush the nutlets from the heads. Seeds can be stored with chaff in sealed, refrigerated containers. Seed Treatment:
Scarification (lightly nick with knife) and stratification (3 months at 40 degrees). Commercially Avail:
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Record Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff