Liatris elegans (Walter) Michx.
Pink-scale Blazing Star, Pink-scale Gayfeather, Pink-scale Liatris
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
USDA Symbol: LIEL
Gay feather is a slender, unbranched plant, 1-4 feet tall. Its narrow leaves, much like pine needles, are about 3 inches long, whorled around the stem. The flower spike is 6-20 inches long, blooming from the top downward. Flowers are purple to pale lavender-pink, about 1/2 inch long. There are no ray flowers, but long, petal-like bracts the same color as the disc flowers are often mistaken for them.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , OK , SC , TX
Native Distribution: Coastal states SC to TX, inland to AR & OK
Native Habitat: Prairies; pinelands; well-drained, sandy sites
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, sandy or rocky soils.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Liatris spp. attract butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1151 Collected 2006-11-13 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
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Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Research LiteratureReslit 1575 - New phenolic compounds from Liatris elegans (2010) Z. Z. Zhang, S. Ownby, P. Wang, W. Yuan, W. L. Zha...
Reslit 1777 - Constituents of Liatris species. V. Ligantrol and ligantrol monoacetate, two new linear polyoxygenated diterpenes from Liatris elegans (1975) W. Herz and R. P. Sharma
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Liatris elegans in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Liatris elegans in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Liatris elegans
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-12-29
Research By: TWC Staff