Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Rough Blazing-star - Liatris aspera   Michaux
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Liatris with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionSouthwestern Piedmont and southern Mountains; scarce in the middle and lower Piedmont and the northern Mountains.

VA to OH, southern Ont. and ND, south to northern FL and TX.
AbundanceRare in the southwestern Piedmont and southern Mountains, and very rare elsewhere in the range. The NCNHP database contains about 20 records, about half still extant, but only several of good to excellent quality. It is a State Special Concern species.
HabitatDry soil of hardwood glades with an open understory, openings in rocky woodlands; powerlines and roadsides through these habitats. The rocks must be mafic or calcareous, and thus it needs high pH soil.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August - early October.
IdentificationBlazing-stars typically have single unbranched stems, many slender leaves, and a terminal spike-like inflorescence of disk florets only. They grow from very hard, roundish, underground corms. Rough Blazing-star grows 2-6 feet tall, the lower leaves narrowly elliptic and well-stalked, middle and upper leaves progressively narrower, shorter, and eventually stalkless. Heads are relatively broad, have 14-24 pink-purple florets, and involucral bracts have blunt, recurved tips. The involucres are glabrous, vs. pubescent in L. squarrulosa. As with nearly all Liatris identifications, take great care in the determination, as this is a rare one. A blazing-star in dry and often rocky places in the southwestern part of the state, growing 3 feet or taller, could well be this species.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Tall Blazing-star
State RankS1 [S1S2]
Global RankG4G5
State StatusSC-V
US Status
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