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Prairie Blazing Star
Liatris pycnostachya

An erect, native perennial herb with unbranched stems that are often 3-4' tall. A good plant for moist and wet restorations of prairies and meadows. It is a wonderful butterfly plant and will be successful in rain gardens and other landscape designs where water fluctuation is minimal or dissipates in a day or less. Wind can damage this plant, so plant with other tall, sturdy plants and grasses, such as big bluestem. Many cultivars of this plant exist.

USDA symbol: LIPY

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height4 to 5 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorPurple
Prairie Blazing Star (Prairie Blazing Star<div><em class="small">Liatris pycnostachya</em></div>)
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Very High

Bloom MonthsJuly to August
Larval Host ofMoths
Specific Pollinators HostedPapaipema beeriana, Schinia sanguinea
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Stem Nesting, Supports Generalists

Project Planning

Project TypeRain Garden, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism8
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAnoka, Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Clay, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Jackson, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands