Liatris aspera, Rough Blazing Star


Have drier soils, mostly sun and wish to see Monarch butterflies, then Liatris aspera.

Liatris aspera, Rough Blazing Star (no need for "Button," the sweet rename) is my favorite of the Blazing stars. It's flowering spikes rise stiffly, well above the late season forbs and grasses, as if a lighthouse to long-haul ships. 

Individual flowers bloom from the top down; a remarkable strategy for being found at the height of warm season growth. As a season's growth settles, the lower flowers are still visible. Ingenious, really. One plant will develop several flowering spikes as the plant matures. Its foliage tends to wither by the bloom, not an unusual trait of plants that have evolved within a dense community of plants. Plant Rough Blazing Star among Little Bluestem, Side Oats Grama, Prairie Phlox, Butterflyweed, Prairie Onion, and Purple Prairie Clover. For a larger meadow, Rough Blazing Star can be set alongside Stiff Goldenrod, Gray-headed Coneflower, Rattlesnake Master, Blue Giant Hyssop, and Sky Blue Aster.

Blooms: magenta-pink, late July into September

Height: 3 to 4 feet

Conditions: Sun to pt sun, medium to dry soils

Shooting high above the grasses and forbs, it is easy for Monarchs to find.


Liatris aspera is a favorite of Monarch butterflies.