Liatris scariosa (L.) Willd.
CC = 9
CW = 5
MOC = 18
SRank = S2
Family - Asteraceae/Eupatorieae
Stem - Erect or arching, densely pubescent with short curled hairs, sometimes nearly glabrous toward base.
Leaves - Basal leaves petiolate, oblanceolate. Stem leaves alternate, numerous, essentially sessile, to 15 cm long, narrowly oblanceolate or elliptic, entire, with single midvein.
Inflorescence - Elongate, open racemes of well-defined, loosely spaced heads, with inflorescence axis readily visible. Mid-inflorescence heads on stalks 12-40 mm long.
Involucre - Cup-shaped, to 17 mm long. Bracts in 4-6 unequal, overlapping series, broadly ovate, mostly appressed, entire to shallowly scalloped, flat.
Florets - Disk florets about 30-80 per head. Corollas to 11 mm, purple. Pappus bristles barbed.
Flowering - July - October.
Habitat - Upland prairies, glades, ledges, forest openings.
Origin - Native to the U.S.
Other info. - This species resembles L. aspera but is far less common. The two are easily distinguished when flowering. L. aspera bears its flowering heads on shorter stalks, and the involucral bracts have a distinctive "pouched" appearance with apical margins appearing irregularly torn.
Photographs taken at Shaw Nature Reserve, Franklin County, MO, 8-20-2017 and 9-5-2017 (SRTurner).