Liatris elegans

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Liatris elegans
Liatris elegans Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae
Genus: Liatris
Species: L. elegans
Binomial name
Liatris elegans
(Walter) Michx.
LIAT ELEG dist.jpg
Natural range of Liatris elegans from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: pinkscale blazing star; elegant gayfeather; Bridges's elegant blazing-star; cream-yellow blazing star; Carizzo blazing-star; Carizzo elegant blazing-star; common elegant blazing star; Kral's elegant blazing-star[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: Liatris elegans (Walter) Michaux var. bridgesii Mayfield; Liatris elegans (Walter) Michaux var. carizzana Gaiser; Liatris elegans (Walter) Nichaux var. elegans; Liatris elegans (Walter) Michaux var. kralii Mayfield; Laciniaria elegans (Walter) Kuntze; Laciniaria flabellata Small; Liatris elegans var. flabellata (Small) Gaiser[1]


A description of Liatris elegans is provided in The Flora of North America. A rhizomatous perennial that is frequent where it is found.[2]


Liatris elegans var. elegans is found from South Carolina through Florida and west to Texas. Liatris elegans var. kralii ranges from southeastern South Carolina through northern Florida Florida and west to southern Mississippi.[1]



This species has been observed growing in longleaf pine-wiregrass communities, in pine-oak woodlands, bordering sink-ravines, and in live oak hammocks in semi-open to open areas.[2] It also can occur in disturbed areas such as powerline corridors, roadsides, and bulldozed sand scrub.[2] Growing in semi-open and open habitats, L. elegans thrives in dry, coarse, and/or loamy sands as well as red clays.[2] Associated species include longleaf pine, wiregrass, Symphyotrichum dumosum, Solidago, Pityopsis, Liatris pauciflora, Quercus laevis, Heterotheca subaxillaris, Haplopappus divaricatus, Polygonella gracile, Aristidia patula, and Lespedeza hirta.[2]

L. elegans has shown regrowth in reestablished longleaf pine woodlands that were disturbed by agriculture in South Carolina, making it an indicator species for post-agricultural woodlands.[3] However, it became absent in response to soil disturbance by military training in west Georgia. It has shown resistance to regrowth in reestablished longleaf pinelands that were disturbed by these activities.[4]


This species has been observed to flower from September to October[5] and fruits from September through November.[2]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by wind.[6]

Fire ecology

Populations of Liatris elegans have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[7]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Ed Keppner, Lisa Keppner, Wilson Baker, Loran C. Anderson, Richard S. Mitchell, E.S. Ford, R.K. Godfrey, Bruce Hansen, JoAnn Hansen, R. Kral, John Morrill, J. P. Gillespie, Sidney McDaniel, R. Komarek, R L Lazor, Gary R. Knight, MacClendons, G. Wilder, Bill Boothe, and Marcia Boothe. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Bay, Calhoun, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Gadsden, Holmes, Leon, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Santa Rosa, Taylor, Washington, Wakulla, and Walton. Georgia: Thomas.
  3. Brudvig, L.A., E Grman, C.W. Habeck, and J.A. Ledvina. (2013). Strong legacy of agricultural land use on soils and understory plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 944-955.
  4. Dale, V.H., S.C. Beyeler, and B. Jackson. (2002). Understory vegetation indicators of anthropogenic disturbance in longleaf pine forests at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. Ecological Indicators 1(3):155-170.
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 19 MAY 2021
  6. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  7. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.