Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Liatris pycnostachya Michx.
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: July-October
- Field Marks: This handsome herb is recognized by its long-cylindrical, continuous spike of flowers
and its hairy stems and leaves.
- Habitat: Moist to dry soil in meadows, prairies, rocky openings in woods, and swales.
- Habit: Perennial herb with globose tubers.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, hairy, up to 5 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, crowded, linear-lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base,
hairy, up to 1/2 inch wide.
- Flowers: Crowded into heads, with the heads densely arranged in a terminal spike; spikes up to
18 inches long; each head 1/3-1/2 inch long and containing 3-6 flowers; heads subtended by many
narrow, hairy bracts.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 5, united into a slender tube, pink-purple.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Achenes slender, 10-ribbed, with plumose bristles.
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