Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Dense Blazing Star

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Liatris spicata

    COMMON NAME: Dense Blazing Star, Blazing Star, Blazing Stars, Dense Button Snakeroot, Gayfeather, Marsh Blazing Star, Sessile-headed Blazing Star, Snakeroot, Spike Gayfeather

    BLOOM TIME: July, Aug, Sept

    Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie credit: R. Kapala


    • 2-5 ft. tall & unbranched.
    • Dense purple flowers make it look like a spiked magic wand.
    • Common plant to grow in flower gardens & not seen often in the wild. 
    • Often used in flower arrangements
    • Habitat: full sun and moist conditions.


    • The flowerheads are cross-pollinated by bumblebees, long-horned bees, leaf-cutting bees, butterflies, and skippers.
    • Insects suck nectar, although some of the bees also collect pollen for their larvae.
    • Two uncommon prairie insects feast; Liatris Flower Moth caterpillar feeds on the florets & developing seeds, while Liatris Borer Moth larvae bores through the stems.
    • Groundhogs and rabbits favor younger plants.
    • Deer and livestock are more likely to browse on mature plants.
    • Corms are eaten by Prairie Vole & Meadow Vole. An overpopulation of these animals can make the establishment of this plant difficult in some areas.