Liatris aspera, or rough blazing star, is an upright, clump-forming, native perennial which typically grows 2-3' tall (less frequently to 5') and which commonly occurs in dryish soils on prairies, open woods, glades, meadows and along roads and railroad tracks. It features rounded, fluffy, deep rose-purple flower heads (each 3/4" across) which are crowded into long, terminal flower spikes. Stalks arise from basal tufts of rough, very narrow, lance-shaped leaves (to 12" long). Flowers open at about the same time, which makes this species a good fresh cut flower for floral arrangements. It blooms later (late summer to fall) than most other Liatris species. Liatris belongs to the aster family, but each flower head has only fluffy disk flowers (resembling "blazing stars") and no rays. This species is distinguished from other Liatris species by its rough appearance and rounded, outflaring involucral bracts. Nice, button-like buds.
Apparently Meriwether Lewis and William Clark enjoyed this plant on their quest to find the Pacific Ocean.