South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Liatris punctata

Asteraceae : Liatris punctata


Download Seed of gayfeather collected near Brookings, S.D. in August. (42 KB)

Download Seedling: One month old seedling of gayfeather grown in research greenhouse at SDSU. (61 KB)

Download Vegetative: Leaves are crowded into the stem. (905 KB)

Download Flowering: The inflorescence is spikelike. (597 KB)

Download Fruiting: The achenes of dotted-gayfeather are produced in late summer. (946 KB)

Download Research garden: Second year plant in research gardens near Brookings, S.D. (86 KB)

Download Mature Plants (1.9 MB)

Family Name


Common Name

Dotted blazing star, dotted-gayfeather

Native American Name

Lakota: Tatecannuga


Liatris punctata is a perennial herb with erect or slightly spreading stems arising singly or in clusters from a taproot-like rootstock and growing 10 to 80 cm in height. The numerous simple leaves are densely packed on the stem, very narrow and linear, up to 15 cm long and 5 mm wide near the base of the plant, becoming smaller toward the top. The leaves are entire, tend to point upward but may be more spiraling at the base of the plant. They are covered with resin dots (punctate) and have short white hairs around the margins. The inflorescence is a spike-like arrangement of cylindrical heads 1.5-2 cm tall with an involucre of narrow overlapping pointed bracts. The 4-8 pink to purple disk flowers are all tubular and star shaped, the inside covered with soft, thin hairs. Dotted-gayfeather blooms from July to October on dry prairies, native pastures and open uplands, especially on sandy soils, throughout South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Dotted blazing star is ideal for a native prairie garden, attracting native bees and butterflies. The flowers are excellent in a vase and for use in dry-flower arrangements. If cut at the beginning of blooming period, they will retain their color. The Lakota name, tatecannuga, means lumpy carcass.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in late summer into fall, when seeds turn brown and begin to detach. Germination: To break dormancy, 2-week cold treatment with 1 mM Ethephon, 60-day moist, cold treatment or fall sowing.

Vegetative Propagation: The plants can be successfully transplanted in early spring while in a dormant condition.

Soils: Adapted to a variety of soils, prefer well drained and sandy soils.

Light: Full sun

Water: Moderate to dry

Asteraceae : Liatris punctata