Liatris spicata

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Common name: dense blazing star [1], florist's gayfeather [2]

Liatris spicata
Liatris spicata IWF.jpg
Photo by the Illinois Wildflowers Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Liatris
Species: L. spicata
Binomial name
Liatris spicata
Natural range of Liatris spicata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: none

Varieties: Liatris spicata (Linnaeus) Willdenow var. resinosa (Nuttall) Gaiser; Liatris spicata (Linnaeus) Willdenow var. spicata


L. spicata is a perennial forb/herb of the Asteraceae native to North America and Canada. [1]


L. spicata is found in the southeastern corner of the United States from Arkansas to Massachusetts, as well as the Ontario and Quebec regions of Canada. [1]



L. spicata is found in bogs, wet longleaf pine savannas, seepages, prairies, roadsides, and grassy balds. [2] Specimens have been collected from moist loamy soils, sandy ridge, edge of cypress pond, pine flatwoods, savanna, disturbed areas such as roadside and ditches, grass-sedge bog, and hardwood hammock.[3]


L. spicata has been observed to flower in July, September, and October. [4]

Fire ecology

L. spicata is not fire resistant, but has high fire tolerance. [1]

Use by animals

L. spicata has low palatability for browsing and grazing animals. [1] The Palmetto Skipper (Euphyes arpa) has been observed on Liatris spicata; the skipper is practically endemic to Florida. [5]

Diseases and parasites

L. spicata is highly colonized by mycorrhizal fungi. [6]

Conservation and Management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  3. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, A.P. Anderson, R.K. Godfrey, R.L. Lazor, Ginny Vail, John Nelson, John Morrill, R. Kral, Lovett Williams, P.L. Redfearn, C. Jackson, Sidney McDaniel, Robert Doren, H.A. Davis, Steve Orzell, Edwin Bridges, Cecil Slaughter, R.F. Thorne, R.A. Davidson, Wm. G. Atwater, R. Komarek, Lisa Keppner, Katelin Pearson, Donald. Davidson. States and counties: Florida (Franklin, Levy, Washington, Wakulla, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Gulf, Escambia, Walton, Calhoun, Bay, Taylor, Bradford, Duval, Palm Beach, Indian River, Baker, Taylor, Liberty, Flagler, Pinellas, Dade, Collier, Volusia) Georgia (Thomas) South Carolina (Georgetown)
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 24 MAY 2018
  5. Observation by Edwin Bridges in Highlands County, December 26, 2016, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group.
  6. Anderson, R. C. and E. S. Menges (1997). "Effects of fire on sandhill herbs: nutrients, mycorrhizae, and biomass allocation." American Journal of Botany 84: 938-948.