Blazing Star, Scaly /Plains Gayfeather

Botanical Name Liatris squarrosa
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun
Preferred Sites Upland/Grassland
Bloom Period June-September
Flower Color Purple

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Prairie Blazing Star is a hardy native perennial herb that grows from a tuber. It is one of the most conspicuous of the prairie inhabitants, as its leafy stems grow erect to a height of 5 feet. The narrow leaves on the lower two-thirds of the plant are so crowded that to the casual observer they may appear spiraled rather than closely alternate.

ADAPTATION AND DISTRIBUTION: Prairie Blazing Star is found throughout the tall grass prairie biome, often in thick stands on damp prairies and open bottomlands from Minnesota and Wisconsin South.

USES: Prairie Blazing Star can be used for prairie restoration and landscaping, roadside plantings, wildlife food and habitat, and wildflower gardens.

ESTABLISHMENT: Prepare a clean weed-free seedbed by disking and harrowing or using chemical weed control. Firm the seedbed by cultipacking. Seedbed should be firm enough to allow seed to be planted ¼ inch deep. For prairie restoration or diverse plantings for wildlife, Prairie Blazing Star can be incorporated into seed mixes at a rate of four ounces pure live seed/acre. Use unstratified seed in fall and stratified seed in the spring. A seeder with a legume box works well in the seeding operation, although other types of seeders or drills maybe used.

MANAGEMENT: During establishment, reduce weed competition by mowing above the height of the Prairie Blazing Star or using approved herbicides. In established stands, prescribed burning may be appropriate where plant vigor declines or where invader species threaten native mix stands.

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