Liatris ligulistylis (Meadow Blazing Star) - photos and description

 

 

 

 

 

General: Erect perennial plants with showy pink-purple flowers. Stems glabrous.

Flowers: Flower heads in terminal spikes, we measured a flower head to 3 cm across, and a spike to 10 cm long.

Leaves: Stem leaves alternate. Leaves have a white midrib, top leaves linear with no petioles, lower leaves oblanceolate with petioles, lightly pubescent.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, we measured plants to 55 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist meadows and clearings in woods.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: There are two species of Liatris native to Saskatchewan. To distinguish between them (top two points below from Budd's Flora, and Hudson's Taxonomic Reminder):

- L. ligulistylus - flower heads with 15+ flowers, heads globular
- L. punctata - flower heads with 4-6 flowers, heads cylindric

- you can usually tell from habitat. L. ligulisylis in moist meadows and edges of aspen woods. L. punctata in dry prairie.
- The flower heads on L. punctata are smaller, are more numerous, and it has a leafier inflorescence.
- If you have a loupe with you, examine the leaves. L. punctata's leaves are pittled (punctate).

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken July 29th in a meadow in aspen woods, 70 km southeast of Regina, SK, and on August 13th, along a hiking path in aspen woods, about 20 km east of our home in Regina, SK.