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Manitoba Museum

Aster (Asteraceae)

Meadow Blazingstar

Liatris ligulistylis (A. Nels.) Schum.

Meadow Blazingstar is a familiar fall-flowering plant on the Canadian prairies. Unlike other asters however, its heads have disc flowers, but lack ray flowers. Insects, butterflies, and hummingbirds are all attracted to the source of nectar that this plant provides. In late fall birds, including Finches and Pine Siskins, feed on the seeds. With it showy purple flowers, this species would make a beautiful addition to any native plant garden.

Flower Colour:

  • Purple

Flowering Season:

  • Summer

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “sensitive” in Alberta.

Physical Appearance:

This perennial plant has 1-3 erect stems that grow 30 – 60 cm tall. Basal leaves are 8-15 mm wide with long stalks. Stem leaves are smaller with shorter stalks and occur alternately. Its 3-10 flower heads are 2-3.3 cm wide and made up of 30-100 disc flowers. These heads are arranged in a long unbranched cluster, the topmost being the largest. Its small, dry fruits contain a single seed and have a tuft of feathery bristles.

Similar Species:

Dotted Blazingstar

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants are typically available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Planted in gardens they attract many different butterflies. They may be grown from seed but are slow to establish.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Forests
  • Prairies
  • Streambanks

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate
  • Moist

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun

Soil Preference:

  • Loam
Meadow Blazingstar