Liatris aspera, Rough Blazing Star

Liatris bloom from the top down. Notice the Orange Banded Bumble Bee?

Liatris aspera, Rough Blazing Star (no need for the sweet rename "Button") is ideal for short to medium height, dry grass prairie. More spring and summer rainfall will influence height. In the dry northwest corner of Minnesota, L. aspera grows much shorter (see picture, below), while under average rainfall of our region, it tends to grow to its upper limit. 

Individual flowers bloom from the top down; a remarkable strategy for being found at the height of warm season growth. As warm season growth begins to fall over, the flowers are opening from the top down. Ingenious, really. One plant will develop several flowering spikes as the plant matures. Its foliage tends to wither by bloom, not an unusual trait for plants that have evolved within a dense community of plants. 

Plant Rough Blazing Star among Blue Grama, Little Bluestem, Side Oats Grama, Prairie Phlox, Butterflyweed, Prairie Onion, Purple Prairie Clover, White Prairie Clover, Bush-headed Clover, Anise Hyssop, Sky Blue Aster, and so many more.

Blooms: magenta-pink, late July into September

Height: 2 to 4 feet

Conditions: Sun to pt sun, medium to dry soils

Twenty-eight inch tall Liatris aspera in the dry Aspen Parkland of NW Minnesota.