"Perennials, 20–180 cm (corms globose to depressed-ovoid or napiform, sometimes elongated, becoming rhizomes, roots all or mostly adventitious).
Stems erect, simple or basally branched.
Leaves basal and cauline; alternate; ± petiolate (basal) or sessile (usually appressed to ascending); blades usually 1-nerved, sometimes 3- or 5-nerved, mostly linear to ovate-lanceolate, margin entire, faces often gland-dotted (stipitate-glandular in L. glandulosa).
Heads discoid, in corymbiform, cymiform, racemiform, or spiciform arrays.
Involucres mostly campanulate to hemispheric or turbinate-cylindric, (2.5–)3–22(–25) mm diam. Phyllaries persistent or tardily falling, 18–40 in (2–)3–7 series, not notably nerved, ovate to elliptic or lanceolate, usually unequal (herbaceous to petaloid, margins often hyaline, often ciliate or irregularly toothed, apices often pink-white). Receptacles flat, epaleate. Florets 3–85; corollas usually lavender to dark magenta or pinkish purple, sometimes white, throats funnelform (lengths 4–6 times diams., externally glanduliferous, glabrous inside or pilose inside near filament insertions, hairs whitish, crisped); styles: bases not enlarged, glabrous, branches linear-clavate (papillate). Cypselae prismatic, 8–11-ribbed, usually hirsutulous to hirtellous-pilose (glabrous in L. oligocephala), usually gland-dotted; pappi persistent, of 12–40 coarsely barbellate to plumose bristles in 1–2 series. x = 10."
Nesom, Guy L. in Flora of North America, Vol 21 Liatris p. 512 Oxford University Press, Inc.; New York, NY, 2006
"Liatris grow from round or oval, woody corms, each of which develops several flowering stems. Numerous, narrow leaves grow alternately on the stem, becoming shorter and thinner near the flower spike. The flower heads grow in several rows along the stem to form a wand-like spike up to 15 inches in height. The flowers on the spikes open from the top downward (basipetally). One variety, L. aspera, flowers from the bottom up. The purple varieties are in greatest demand, though there is also interest in the rose-red and white varieties."
Stevens, Allan B. et.al. in Commercial Specialty Cut Flower production. Liatris. Cooperative Extention Service Kansas State University. Manhattan, Kansas oct 1993. Publication
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