Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Shaggy Blazing-star - Liatris pilosa   (Aiton) Willdenow
Members of Asteraceae:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Aiton) Willdenow
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills (uncommon), lower to middle Piedmont; scattered westward.

Nearly restricted to the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, NJ and PA south to SC; sparingly in the Appalachians.
AbundanceFairly common to common in most of the Coastal Plain and eastern half of the Piedmont, but uncommon in the Sandhills, the western half of the Piedmont, and low Mountains/foothills. Rare in the northeastern Coastal Plain and the southwestern Mountains.
HabitatDry to xeric Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass woodlands, open pine-oak-hickory woodlands, weedy clearings, old fields, margins of brackish marshes, and powerline clearings.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late August-October.
IdentificationBlazing-stars typically have single stems, many slender leaves, and a terminal spike-like inflorescence of disk florets only. They grow from very hard, roundish, underground corms. Shaggy Blazing-star grows 1.5-4 feet tall, 1-several stems from a single corm, stems upright to leaning, lower leaves lance-linear and generally without stalks, middle and upper leaves progressively narrower, shorter, and stalkless. The heads are narrow, have 6-13 pink-purple florets, and occur all around the stem; the involucral bracts are pilose and blunt-tipped. Note the fine white hairs along the margins of the leaves, sticking out like eyelashes. Those are lacking in Sandhills Blazing-star (L. cokeri). Wand Blazing-star (L. virgata) is very similar, but its involucral bracts are acute (vs. blunt) and its heads are loosely arranged (vs. densely).
Taxonomic CommentsFormerly included within Liatris graminifolia, as was L. virgata.

Other Common Name(s)None
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