Prairie blazingstar (Liatris pycnostachya)

Aster family (Asteraceae) | Wildflowers and Herbs plant group | Also known as Gayfeather
21 reports

Blazing stars are popular garden plants for their colorful clusters of pink or white flowers on spikes up to 5' tall. This species is a popular garden flower since it flowers late in summer and can stay in flower for a month. In contrast to rough blazingstar it occurs in deeper richer soils, and moist sites, often along streams or wetlands but can occur along railroad right of ways, fields, and rocky bluffs.

Identification Hints

The top two-thirds of prairie blazing star is a spike of rose-purple, thistle-like flowers that are given a somewhat fuzzy appearance by extended white stamens (male flower parts) and pistils (female flower parts). Flowering starts at the top of the spike and moves progressively downward. Each flower head along the spike is made up of 5 to 12 tubular florets.

Did You Know?

The flowers at the top of Prairie blazing star spikes are the first to bloom. Blooming will slowly progress down the spike. Flowers typically bloom in late summer and early fall. These are a great species to report on during the Fall into Phenology campaign!

Use these printable forms to assist your reporting in the field, or away from an internet connection.