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Liatris aestivalis (Summer gayfeather)
Smith, Sandy

Liatris aestivalis

Liatris aestivalis G.L. Nesom & R. O'Kennon

Summer Gayfeather, Summer Blazing Star, Summer Liatris

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: LIAE3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tuberous
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Texture: Leathery
Inflorescence: Spike
Size Notes: Flowering spikes 8-22 inches tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Earlier than most Liatris species, flowering begins in mid-July and continues until late August or sometimes into early September.


Native Distribution: Known native range limited to north-central Texas and south-central Oklahoma.
Native Habitat: Blackland prairies, pine-oak woodlands and oak-juniper woodlands. One population grows in sandy soils.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Grows in thin soils on limestone outcrops.


Use Ornamental: Potentially useful in landscapes, though small native populations should preclude wild collecting.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Liatris aestivalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Liatris aestivalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Liatris aestivalis


Record Modified: 2022-12-29
Research By: Joseph A. Marcus

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