Appalachian Blazing Star, Liatris squarrulosa, is a visually unique Liatris in growth habit, found in the meadows and prairies of the central and southeastern US. Beginning in July and lasting into November, multiple striking, small disc lavender flowers appear in heads arranged on an unbranched stem, uniquely opening from top to bottom along the stem. Appalachian or Southern Blazing Star prefers sandy to rocky loam soils that are well-drained in full sun. Planting such drought tolerant species in fall will help roots established in well-disturbed sites, where squarrulosa can thrive. This drought and poor soil tolerant species was selected as the 1998 NC Wildflower of the Year. A hummingbird and pollinator favorite, this species also supports songbirds with its abundant seed heads in the fall.
Photo: State Botanical Garden of Kentucky