Liatris tenuifolia

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Liatris tenuifolia
Liatris tenuifolia 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. tenuifolia
Binomial name
Liatris tenuifolia
LIAT TENU dist.jpg
Natural range of Liatris tenuifolia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Shortleaf blazing star

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Liatris tenuifolia Nuttall var. tenuifolia; Laciniaria tenuifolia (Nuttall) Kuntze


A description of Liatris tenuifolia is provided in The Flora of North America.




Habitats of L. tenuifolia include longleaf pine-turkey oak sand ridge, dry Quercus laurifolia hammock, scrub-oak ridge, sandhills, semi-boggy areas, wet pine flatwoods,course sand and scrub oak barren, and annually burned pinelands. [1] Human disturbed areas include moist loamy sand of roadside depression, dry sand of scrubby ridges along roads, bordering pine flatwoods along the road, sandy clearings, open fields, and on the edge of clearing banks of rivers. [1] Soil types observed include moist loamy sand, dry sand, coarse sand, gravelly sandy soil, white sand, sandy loam, and sandy-peaty soils. [1] Availability of nitrogen, pH, organic matter, and inorganic nutrients such as (Ca, K, Mg, and P) have been observed to be concentrated at low levels in the soil. [2] Plants associated include Liatris, Andropogon, Quercus geminata, Quercus laevis, Quercus laurifolia, Carya floridana, Crataegus, Chrysopsis, Aristida, Balduina, Carphephorus, Penstemon, Polygonella, Pinus clausa, Pinus palustris, Solidago, Pityopsis, Carphephorus odoratissimus, Illex glabra, Serenoa repens, Euthamia minor, Panicum rigidulum, Pterocaulon pyncnostachyum, Elephantopus elatus and Aster dumosus. [1]


L. tenuifolia has been observed flowering in January and September through November.[1][3]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by wind. [4]

Seed bank and germination

Fire improves seedling recruitment. [5]

Fire ecology

L. tenuifolia responds positively to conditions following a burn by increased vegetative growth and flowering and typically blooms within a year or so following fire. [2] There is an increase in growth and flowering in burned sandhill sites located in south-central Florida. [2] It also has been found in burned and unburned patches of degraded longleaf pine sandhill. [6]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Liatris tenuifolia at Archbold Biological Station. [7]

Apidae: Apis mellifera, Bombus impatiens, B. pennsylvanicus

Halictidae: Agapostemon splendens, Augochlorella aurata, Augochloropsis sumptuosa

Megachilidae: Coelioxys mexicana, C. sayi, Megachile albitarsis, M. brevis pseudobrevis, M. brimleyi, M. petulans, M. texana

Sphecidae: Ammophila procera

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, Ann F. Johnson, R.K. Godfrey, R. Kral, J. P. Gillespie, James D. Ray, Jr., Olga Lakela, Jackie Patman, R L Lazor, V. I. Sullivan, D. B. Ward, Tin Myint, Jame Amoroso, Bian Tan, Paul L. Redfearn, Jr., Sidney McDaniel, Bruce Hansen, JoAnn Hansen, A. F. Clewell, John Morrill, William B. Fox, W. D. Reese, Nancy Z. Edmondson, P. Genelle, G. Fleming, Elmer C. Prichard, Richard D. Houk, O. Lakela, R. Komarek, R.A. Norris, Cecil R Slaughter, Tara Baridi, Rex Ellis. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Brevard, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Lafayette, Liberty, Leon, Madison, Okaloosa, Osceola, Polk Putnam, Santa Rosa, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton. Georgia: Thomas. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 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.
  3. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  4. 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.
  5. Whelan, W.A. 1970. Patterns of recruitment to plant populations after fire in western Australia and Florida. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 14:169-178.
  6. Heuberger, K. A. and F. E. Putz (2003). "Fire in the suburbs: ecological impacts of prescribed fire in small remnants of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) sandhill." Restoration Ecology 11: 72-81.
  7. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.