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(Liatris punctata)
Dotted Gayfeather

Hosted Species: Wavy-lined Emerald, Liatris Leaf Borer

Nectar Plant: many insects including other butterflies, bees, wasps, and birds such as hummingbirds.  It is especially favored by the Pawnee montane skipper (Hesperia leonardus montana) (Wikipedia).

Flower Color: White, purple, pink

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows from 0.5 to 3 feet tall

Range in North America: Mid-western United States and middle provinces of Canada

Exposure: Prefers full sun

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Soil Requirements: well-drained soil that is dry to moist

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Dotted Gayfeather (Liatris punctata)

Purple flowers of dotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata).
Flowers of Dotted Gayfeather — English: NPS Staff, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

Dotted blazing star and narrow-leaved blazing star

Description of Dotted Blazing Star (Liatris punctata)

Dotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows 0.5′ to 3′ tall and blooms in the summer (July to September).  The fruits, which are achenes, mature in the late summer to fall.  More information about this plant 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.


This blazing star grows in places with full sun such as grasslands, prairies, and woodlands.

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

Range map of dotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata) in the United States and Canada.


Interesting Facts

The genus name, Liatris, is of unknown origin and the species name, punctata, is Latin for spots.


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Dotted Gayfeather”

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