Native Plant of the Week: Meadow Blazingstar ~ Liatris ligulistylis

Meadow Blazingstar ~ Liatris ligulistylis
This perennial native is hands down the best Monarch Butterfly nectar plant in late summer. We have counted as many as 20 Monarchs on ours in late summer when in flower. A great addition to any sunny, wet to mesic location.

Meadow Blazingstar starts to flower in early to mid August, continuing on into late September. The light purple flower clusters open from the bottom upwards on the flower spike.
The button-like flower heads are about 1 inch in width comprised of many tiny pink tubular flowers. The tall narrow flower spikes can reach about 5 feet in height in moist soils, shorter in more mesic soils. It makes a great native companion to prairie grasses.

The long linear leaves are also an attractive feature adding to the tall linear form.

If you want to provide a good nectar source for Monarch Butterflies prior to their long migration, this is the plant. It will be short lived if you plant it in a location that is too dry, make sure the soil is somewhat loamy or mesic.

Read a post at Native Plants Wildlife Gardens by Benjamin Vogt about this Liatris.

Meadow Blazingstar is native to the midwestern States and Provinces. See map below.

Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.