South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Liatris aspera

Asteraceae : Liatris aspera


Download Seed: Achenes of rough blazing star are 4-5 mm long. (62 KB)

Download Seedling: Two month old seedling of rough blazing star. (107 KB)

Download Vegetative: Leaves are 5-40 cm long and .6-4 cm wide. (354 KB)

Download Flowering: The inflorescence is spikelike. (356 KB)

Download Fruiting: Rough blazing star produces seed in late summer. The achenes or seeds develop in tight bundles that later open to producing a fuzzy appearance (this is when the seed is ready to be collected). (498 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Rough blazing star, tall blazing star


Liatris aspera is a perennial herb with 1 or more usually unbranched green or purplish stems arising from a thickened corm-like rootstock and growing 40-120 cm in height. The alternate, simple leaves are petiolate, narrow and blade-like with a prominent central vein and pointed tip, 5-40 cm long and 6 to 40 mm wide at the base of the stem, becoming smaller and sessile upward. The leaves are entire and have a rough texture from a covering of short stiff hairs. The inflorescence is an elongate and spikelike cluster of campanulate heads, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter. The heads have an involucre of loosely spreading, greenish to purple bracts. The 25-40 flowers are all tubular, pink to purplish in color (occasionally white), star shaped and hairy within and the pappus is composed of finely barbed hairs. The achenes are 4-5 mm long with a pappus of long hairs. Rough blazing star blooms from July through September open slopes, prairies and meadowlands of eastern South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Rough blazing star great for wildflower gardens and restoration projects. The flower is a very important nectar source for adult monarchs and many other species of butterflies. Birds, including Goldfinches, enjoy the seeds. These flowers are also excellent for cut flower bouquets.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in late summer and early fall, when the seeds become easy to remove from the seedhead.

Germination: To break dormancy, 2 week cold treatment with 1 mM Ethephon, 60-day moist, cold treatment or fall sowing.

Vegetative Propagation: Division of corms in the fall. Soils: Sandy to light clay, well drained soils. Light: Full sun
Water: Mesic to Dry

Asteraceae : Liatris aspera