Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Liatris elegans (Pink-scale blazing star)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Liatris elegans

Liatris elegans (Walter) Michx.

Pink-scale Blazing Star, Pink-scale Gayfeather, Pink-scale Liatris

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: liel

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

13 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
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 Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: 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 Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, sandy or rocky soils.


Use Wildlife: Liatris spp. attract butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: 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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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 Bank

LBJWC-1151 Collected 2006-11-13 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

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

Research Literature

Reslit 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.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-29
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back