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(Liatris spicata)
Blazing Star

Hosted Species: Wavy-lined Emerald, Liatris Leaf Borer

Nectar Plant: many insects including other butterflies, bees, wasps, and birds such as hummingbirds

Flower Color: purple, blue, or white

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows from 2 to 6 feet tall

Range in North America: Mid-Western and Eastern North America

Exposure: Prefers full sun, but can handle partial shade.

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Soil Requirements: dry or moist well-drained soil with organic matter

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Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Blazing star (Liatris spicata) in the McMullen House garden.
Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) in McMullen House garden — author image

Alternative Names

Gayfeather, Snakeroot, Dense Blazing Star, Marsh Blazing Star

Description of Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows 2′ to 6′ tall and blooms in the spring and summer (April to September).  The fruits, which are achenes, mature in the late summer to fall.

More about Blazing Star can be found on this blog post.

Hosted Species

Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata)

Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerolata) on fabric.
Wavy-lined Emerald on Fabric — CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nectar Species

Other butterflies, bees, and wasps use this plant as a nectar source.


Blazing Star grows in open areas with full sun to partial shade.

Range of Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) in the United States and Canada

Range map of Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) in the United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Liatris, is of unknown origin and the species name, spicata, is Latin for the spike-like flowers.



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Blazing Star”

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