Liatris ligulistylis (Meadow Blazing Star) - photos and description







Bracts imbricate




General: Erect perennial plants with simple stems and showy pink-purple flowers. Stems quite stiff and reddish-coloured towards the top.

Flowers: Flower heads discoid in terminal spikes, we measured a flower head to 3 cm across and 2 cm long, and a flower spike to 10 cm long. The bracts of the flower heads are imbricate.

Leaves: Stem leaves alternate, reduced upwards. Leaves have a white midrib. Top leaves linear sessile, lower leaves oblanceolate with a narrowly winged petiole, lightly pubescent. Upper leaves ciliate.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, we measured plants to 57 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 26th in a meadow in the boreal forest 300 km northeast of Regina, SK, 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.