rough blazing star

(Liatris aspera)

rough blazing star, var. aspera

Rough blazing star is a common, late summer wildflower. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains. It is found in dry prairies, savannas, and open woodlands. It grows in sandy soil under full sun. It flowers from mid-August through September.

Three varieties of Liatris aspera have been described. Two of the varieties have been recorded in Minnesota, but very few records of the plant have been classified to the variety rank. Not all taxonomic authorities recognize the varieties.


Rough blazing star is an erect perennial with one or two stems. The stems are leafy, green or dark red, unbranched, and rough to the touch. Basal leaves are narrowly elliptic, 3 to 10 long, and ¼ to 1 wide. Stem leaves narrower and shorter, becoming gradually smaller as they ascend the stem. The inflorescence is a spike-like cluster of 10 or more pinkish-purple flower heads at the end of the stem. The flower heads are about 1 wide and are stalkless or on stalks that are no more than 3 16 long.


Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Helianthodae  
  Tribe Eupatorieae (bonesets, blazingstars, and allies)  
  Subtribe Liatrinae  


Liatris (blazing stars)  

Subordinate Taxa


rough blazing star (Liatris aspera var. aspera)

rough blazing star (Liatris aspera var. intermedia)




Lacinaria aspera

Lacinaria squarrosa var. intermedia

Liatris aspera var. salutans


Common Names


lacerate blazing star

rough blazing star

rough gayfeather

tall blazing star

tall gayfeather











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Nancy Falkum

    rough blazing star      

Blazing Star, Rough

    rough blazing star      

Blazing Star, Rough Liatris aspera w/Hesperia leonardus Leonard’s Skipper

    rough blazing star      

Blazing Star, Rough w/Regal Fritillary

    rough blazing star      
    rough blazing star   rough blazing star  



  Liatris aspera ROUGH BLAZING STAR
Frank Mayfield
  Liatris aspera ROUGH BLAZING STAR  
  L. aspera
Joshua Mayer
  L. aspera  

Rough Blazing Star

  Wildflower Rough Blazing Star 6.2010.wmv

Uploaded on Jun 25, 2010

Macro photography of rough blazing stars, butterflies, bumble bees, and more - - all captured on location at the WARD Ranch in Southern Oklahoma.




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Button Blazingstar - Liatris aspera

Uploaded on Aug 25, 2011

Earthyman views Button Blazingstar also known as Rough Blazingstar (Liatris aspera) in bloom at Ion Exchange native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa

  Butterflies on Liatris aspera

Uploaded on Sep 24, 2011

There must be 30 butterflies, mostly skippers, on this one rough blazing star plant! Early September 2011.

  Monarch Butterflies on Blazing Star
Ani L-R

Uploaded on Nov 25, 2011

This video was taken in my specially designed garden, a gift from my dear daughter, as we started learning about the magic of planting native species for wildlife benefits. This video showcases the Meadow Blazing Star / Rough Blazing Star (Liatris Aspera). This plant alone can attract hundreds of Monarch butterflies to your garden in late August.

Sadly I lost this plant and I'm looking to replace it. If you are in the Toronto Area and have a source, plant or seed, please leave a comment below.

Enjoy this video and I encourage you to look for this magnificent plant that will bring hours of delight to your life.

  Monarch Butterfly and Liatris

Uploaded on Aug 24, 2011

Monarch butterfly feeding on Rough Blazing Star Liatris 082111




Visitor Sightings

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  Nancy Falkum

Location: Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

rough blazing star  

Agassiz Dunes SNA (MN DNR)

Antelope Valley SNA

Badoura Jack Pine Woodland SNA

Blanket Flower Prairie SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Bonanza Prairie SNA

Buffalo River State Park

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Chippewa Prairie

Clinton Prairie SNA

Compass Prairie SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Des Moines River SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Dry Sand WMA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

Felton Prairie SNA, Shrike Unit

Foxhome Prairie

Frenchman’s Bluff SNA

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glynn Prairie SNA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Hythecker Prairie SNA

Jensen Memorial WMA

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie SNA

Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Kellogg Weaver Unit

Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

Kettledrummer Prairie

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Bronson State Park

Langhei Prairie SNA

Leif Mountain

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Lundblad Prairie SNA

Malmberg Prairie SNA

Margherita Preserve-Audubon Prairie

McKnight Prairie

Minneopa State Park

Mississippi River County Park

Mound Prairie SNA

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Myre-Big Island State Park

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Hoffman Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Spieker Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Osmundson Prairie SNA

Otter Tail Prairie SNA

Pankratz Memorial Prairie, North Unit

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Crookston Prairie Unit

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Pembina Trail Unit

Plover Prairie, East Unit

Prairie Bush Clover SNA

Prairie Coteau SNA

Red Rock Prairie

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake Savanna SNA

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Santee Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Schaefer Prairie

Sheepberry Fen

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Sibley State Park

Split Rock Creek State Park

Spring Prairie Preserve

Staffanson Prairie

Strandness Prairie

Thorson Prairie WMA

Town Hall Prairie

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Two Rivers Aspen Prairie Parkland SNA

Tympanuchus Prairie

Uncas Dunes SNA

Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Wahpeton Prairie WMA

Western Prairie SNA

Whitewater State Park

Wild Indigo SNA

Wild River State Park

Yellow Bank Hills SNA

Zimmerman Prairie







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