northern plains blazing star

(Liatris ligulistylis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

northern plains blazing star

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Moderate moisture to moist. Prairies, wood openings, meadows, lake shores, streambanks, roadsides, ditches. Full sun.

Flowering

August to September

     
Flower Color

Pink

     
Height

8 to 40

     

Identification

This is an erect, 8 to 40 tall, perennial forb that rises from a large, almost globe-shaped corm.

The stems are erect and unbranched. They are sparsely to densely covered with short, soft, curled hairs.

Basal leaves are narrowly inversely lance-shaped to spatula lance-shaped, 3½ to 6 long, and to wide. They are on long leaf stalks. They have 1 main vein. The margins are untoothed.

Lower and middle stem leaves are similar, alternate, becoming gradually smaller and on shorter leaf stalks as they ascend the stem. There are 8 to 100 stem leaves below the inflorescence. Above the middle the leaves become abruptly smaller. Upper stem leaves are similar to middle stem leaves but are linear or narrowly lance-shaped, ascending to nearly erect, and bract-like. They become stalkless and gradually smaller as they ascend the stem.

The inflorescence is an unbranched, elongated, spike-like cluster (raceme) of flower heads at the end of the stem. The raceme may have 1 to 21 flower heads, but usually has 3 to 10. The heads are loosely spaced and the axis of the inflorescence is visible between the heads. They are on ascending, 5 16 to 13 16 long stalks.

The flower heads are about 1 wide. The terminal head is often larger than the others and matures first. The whorl of bracts at the base of the flower head (involucre) is broadly bell-shaped to hemispherical, to long, and ½ to 11 16 in diameter. The bracts making up the involucre are in 4 or 5 overlapping series. They are broadly inversely egg-shaped to oblong spatula-shaped. The lower (outer) and middle series are spreading or bent backward. They have rounded, blistery projections on the back, making them appear inflated. They have broad, thin, purple to transparent margins. The margins are strongly bent upwards and appear irregularly torn.

The flower head has 30 to 70 pink, tubular disk florets and no ray florets. Each disk floret is separated at the tip into 5 spreading lobes. There are 5 stamens concealed within the corolla tube and a long, white to pink, forked style that protrudes well beyond the tip of the corolla tube. There is no fragrance.

The fruit is an achene with hair-like bristles attached. The bristles are barbed, though this may be difficult to see without a hand lens.

 
Similar
Species

Rough blazing star (Liatris aspera) flower heads are on shorter stalks.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Asteraceae (aster)

 

Subfamily:

Asteroideae

 

Supertribe:

Helianthodae

 

Tribe:

Eupatorieae

 

Subtribe:

Liatrinae

 
Synonyms

Lacinaria ligulistylis

 
Common
Names

northern plains blazing star

northern plains blazing-star

northern plains gayfeather

Rocky Mountain blazing star

Rocky Mountain gayfeather

round-headed blazing star

showy blazing-star

strap-style gayfeather


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

corm

A short, solid, vertical, thickened, underground stem that serves as a storage organ.

 

corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

involucre

A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.

 

linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

plumose

Feathery; having fine, pinnately arranged, lateral bristles or hairs arranged on both sides of an axis.

 

raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

       

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  northern plains blazing star   northern plains blazing star
       

Infructescence

  northern plains blazing star    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  L. ligulistylis
Joshua Mayer
 
  L. ligulistylis  
 
About

Showy Blazingstar

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Best Butterfly Plant
Ionxchange
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 24, 2012

Earthyman views the best butterfly plant at Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa. Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis) will attract butterflies to your prairie perennial garden. Blazingstar is a perennial prairie wildflower. http://ionxchange.com/products/LIATRIS-LIGULISTYLIS-%7C-Meadow-Blazingstar.html

 
     
  Monarch Butterflies Mating on Liatris
Tony Gomez
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 1, 2010

http://monarchbutterflygarden.net/purple-butterfly-flower-power/

monarch butterflies mating on a favorite purple plant (liatris ligulistylis). Read the article to learn about 4 more popular purple flowers for your butterfly garden,

 
     
  Monarch swarm while walking through a patch of Meadow Blazing Stars
Blazing Star Gardens
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 19, 2013

There were at least two dozen monarchs and other butterflies in this patch of Meadow Blazing Stars every day for the 3-4 weeks they were blooming. A native prairie flower, Meadow Blazing Star is one of the best Midwestern plants for attracting monarchs, which feed on the nectar.

This video was taken on 8/31/2013 in a patch of native Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis) flowers in a road ditch near Albert Lea, Minnesota. Don't worry, no Blazing Stars were seriously injured in the making of this video, as I was watching where I stepped while filming.

 
     
  Monarchs Nectaring On Meadow Blazingstar Winthrop, Minnesota Aug. 28, 2013
4af
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 31, 2013

New Project 35

 
     

 

Camcorder

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