Liatris aspera

Rough blazing star in buds and blooms

Rough blazing star in buds and blooms

This perennial plant is 2-5′ and unbranched. The central stem is green or dark red, and it 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 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.

This wildflower is widely distributed, but rarely forms large colonies in native habitats, unlike Liatris pychnostachya (Prairie Blazingstar). Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, bald knobs, openings in rocky upland forests, sandy Black Oak woodlands, savannas, limestone glades, dry clay banks above ditches, and open areas along railroads, particularly where prairie remnants occur.

Phenophases

  1. First Flower: Date the first flowers are fully open. When open, you will see the stamens among the unfolded petals.
  2. Full Flower: Date when half or more of the flowers are completely open
  3. First Ripe Fruit: Date when you notice the first fruits becoming fully ripe or seeds dropping naturally from the plant. Ripening is indicated by the berries turning red, yellow, orange, or maroon.
  4. Full Fruiting: Date when half or more of the fruits are completely ripe or seeds are dropping naturally from the plant.
  5. All Leaves Withered: Date when most or all of the leaves that developed this season, have lost green color or are dried and dead.

Information from: www.wildflower.org and www.illinoiswildflowers.info

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