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Liatris spicata

Liatris spicata (L.) Willd.

 

Gay Feather, Blazing Star, Dense Blazing Star ‘Floristan Violet’, Dense Blazing Star

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusLiatrisA very old name, meaning lost
Speciesspicata“Spiked”

About plant names...

Dense blazing star is named for its tall spikes of pink-purple flowers. It is a member of the aster family.

Identification: Plants are 24-48" (60-121 cm) high. Leaves are narrow, grass-like, more dense near the bottom of the plant, up to 12" (30 cm) long and ¾" (2 cm) wide. The striking flower spikes are up to 12" (30 cm) tall. Petals are threadlike tubes, each pointed randomly. Flowerheads look a little similar to purple loosestrife from a distance, but up close, flower spikes and leaves are very different.

Online References:

Liatris spicata on Missouriplants.com

Liatris spicata at Illinois Wildflowers

Liatris spicata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Liatris spicata at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Liatris spicata on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Liatris spicata (Gay Feather, Blazing Star, Dense Blazing Star ‘Floristan Violet’, Dense Blazing Star)

8/1/2009 · Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
≈ 26 × 17" (66 × 44 cm)

Liatris spicata (Gay Feather, Blazing Star, Dense Blazing Star ‘Floristan Violet’, Dense Blazing Star)

9/20/2014 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Liatris spicata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.

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Liatris spicata (Gay Feather, Blazing Star, Dense Blazing Star ‘Floristan Violet’, Dense Blazing Star)

8/17/2014 · Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch Area, White Mountains, NH
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Liatris spicata (Gay Feather, Blazing Star, Dense Blazing Star ‘Floristan Violet’, Dense Blazing Star)

8/17/2014 · Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch Area, White Mountains, NH
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Liatris spicata (Gay Feather, Blazing Star, Dense Blazing Star ‘Floristan Violet’, Dense Blazing Star)

8/17/2014 · Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch Area, White Mountains, NH
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 22 cm)

Liatris spicata (Gay Feather, Blazing Star, Dense Blazing Star ‘Floristan Violet’, Dense Blazing Star)

7/23/2005 · MacDonalds, Westford, MA

Range: Zones 3-9:

About this map...