Liatris aspera (Rough Blazing Star)

Where Commonly Found: 
Prairie and dry savannas, NY.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Minnesota Wildflower site for Liatris apsera .
ID Photo: from Missouri Botanical Garden website.
Flower Type:  Spike-like clusters of 6″ – 18″ longs purple/pink flower heads, each about 1″ across, consisting of 25-40 star-shaped disk flowers. The style in the center of each flower a long divided string.  Flower time is early August to late September.
Leaf Arrangement:  Alternate  leaves, but can be bunched to appear whorled.  
Leaf Type:
The basal leaves are often 12″ long and wither away by time of flowering, while stem leaves are pointed and blade-like, about 3″ long with a prominent central vein and pointed tip.  Short still hairs give a rough leaf surface.
Height:  3′ – 5′
Seed Collection:  The seeds, achemes, are about 1/8″ long or less with tuft of light brown hair that aid in wind dispersement.  Cut horizontally through the flower stem spike 1/4″ above the first or second set of leaves.  Allow flower stems to dry, spread out, at room temperature for 1 – 2 weeks.  Rub on 1/4″ wire mesh to allow chaff and seeds to fall through.  Store cool, dry.

Attracts:  Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Use:  Garden, Monarch Garden
Light:  Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone:  3 to 9  USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Dry to Moist
Flower Color:  Deep Lavender
Notes: Rough Blazing Star provides long spikes of lavender powder puffs covered with butterflies, birds and bees for the late season.
Introduced and naturalized in the NY, native Mid-Atlantic (except PA, NJ, WV) South-East, South and Mid-West US:  Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).

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