Liatris pycnostachya Michx. - Prairie Blazing Star


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Liatris pycnostachya - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Asteraceae


Prairies, marly fens.


In marly fens with Andropogon gerardii, Carex stricta, Cirsium muticum, Gentiana andrewsii, Helianthus giganteus, Lycopus americanus, Oxypolis rigidior, Phlox glaberrima interior, Prenanthes racemosa, Solidago ohioensis, Spartina pectinata.




Basal leaves well-developed and present at flowering time. Cauline leaves alternate, linear to narrowly lanceolate. Stems pubescent . Inflorescence a spiciform or racemose spike, much longer than broad. Stems pubescent or rarely glabrous. Involucral bracts with reflexed or spreading, usually acuminate, tips; heads more than 20, sessile, each with fewer than 15 flowers; pappus barbellate.


Flowers mid July to mid September.

Wetland indicator: Facultative-

The flowers of blazing stars are somewhat unique in that they bloom from the top down. The reflexed bracts and downy stems are the main distinguishing characteristics between this species and L. spicata, although there can be specimens that suggests hybrids between the two.



Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005