Liatris squarrosa

Scaly Blazingstar
An uncommon species
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Liatris squarrosa, is commonly referred to as scaly blazingstar.  It is an herbaceous perennial plant native to eastern and central North America, with most populations in the Southeastern United States.  It is a somewhat uncommon species, often found in dry or rocky areas of native prairie and open savanna vegetation. It typically blooms with purple heads of flowers in the late summer.

It is divided into distinct varieties by taxonomists, which are sometimes treated as separate species.

The flowerheads are cross-pollinated primarily by bumblebees, butterflies, and skippers. In general, several insect species feed on Liatris spp. (Blazingstars). These species include: the caterpillars of Schinia sanguinea (Blazingstar Flower Moth), which feed on the florets and developing seeds; the caterpillars of Papaipema beeriana (Blazingstar Borer Moth) and Carmenta anthracipennis (Liatris Borer Moth), which bore through the stems; and the aphids Aphis laciniariae and Aphis craccivora, which suck plant juices. The foliage and flowerheads of Blazingstars are edible to many mammalian herbivores, including cattle, horses, sheep, goats, deer, rabbits, and groundhogs. Where these mammals are abundant, Blazingstar populations usually decline. (From: Illinois

Grow it in the birightly lit garden, and keep it on the dry side.

Photo from Wikipedia

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