IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant is 2-5' and unbranched. The central stem is green or dark red, and has short stiff hairs. The leaves toward the base are up to 12" long and 1" wide, becoming progessively shorter and narrower as they alternate up the stalk. The leaves are sufficiently crowded together that they appear whorled. They are narrowly lanceolate or linear, dull green or bluish green, and usually slightly pubescent. The margins are smooth or slightly ciliate.  The central stem terminates in an erect spike-like inflorescence with pink or purplish pink composite flowers. This inflorescence is about ½–1½' long, with the composite flowers more or less densely distributed along its length. The individual flowers are crowded together into buttons about 1" across. Each flower has 5 lobes that spread outward from the corolla tube, from which emerges a long divided style that is often curly. There is no floral scent. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall and lasts about 3 weeks for individual plants. Like other Liatris spp., the flowers of Rough Blazingstar begin to bloom at the top of the flowering stalk, and gradually bloom downward as the season progresses. The achenes have large tufts of stiff hair that are light greyish brown, which enables them to be distributed several feet by the wind. The root system consists of a woody corm. Occasionally, offsets develop a short distance from the mother plant, creating small colonies. Cultivation

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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