Liatris squarrosa

Botanical Name : Liatris squarrosa
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Liatris
Species: L. squarrosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : L. squarrulosa. Laciniaria scariosa.

Common Names: Scaly blazingstar, Scaly blazing star, Alabama blazing star

Habitat : Liatris squarrosa is native to Eastern N. America – Ontario to Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, South Dakota and Texas. It grows in dry open woods, clearings and fields, chiefly argillaceous. Usually found on sandy soils.

Description:
Liatris squarrosa is a perennial plant, growing to 0.9 m (3ft).
It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Stems – To +60cm tall, erect, simple, single or multiple from a corm, herbaceous, glabrous to pilose (the hairs multicellular), terete, typically light green with darker vertical lines.
Leaves – Alternate, sessile, linear and grasslike, scabrous or not, glabrous to strigose hairy, entire, reduced upward, to +20cm long, 4-12mm broad. Veins of the leaves appearing parallel. Hairs multicellular as on the stem.

Involucre – To +/-1.8cm long (tall), +/-7mm in diameter, cylindric or slightly wider near the base. Phyllaries imbricate, the longest to -1.5cm long, 2-4mm broad, glabrous to pubescent externally, glabrous internally, with ciliate margins apically, abruptly short acuminate to acuminate at the apex, often dark purple at the apex in strong sun. The apices of the phyllaries somewhat to greatly spreading (depending on the variety).

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Disk flowers – 10-60 per flowerhead. Corolla green basally, purplish in the apical half, 5-lobed, to 1.4cm long (including the lobes), glabrous externally, pubescent internally. Lobes to +/-4mm long, -1mm broad, acute, linear, with punctate glands externally (use a lens to see). Stamens 5, adnate at the middle of the corolla tube. Filaments white, glabrous, -2mm long. Anthers brown, connate around the style, 3mm long, mostly included. Style white basally, purple in the apical half, glabrous, +/-2cm long total, divided in the apical half, well exserted beyond the corolla. Pappus of purplish plumose bristles to +/-9mm long, uniseriate. The shaft of the bristle is purple the plumose hairs are white. Achene in flower ribbed, +/-5mm long, +/-1.2mm broad, antrorse pubescent.

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Cultivation:
Grows well in a moderately good light soil.Tolerates poor soils. Plants are prone to rot overwinter in wet soils. A good bee plant. Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Poultice; Tonic.

The root is diuretic and tonic. A poultice made from the roots is applied to snake bites.

Other Uses:.…Repellent……….The plant is used as an insect repellent in the clothes cupboard
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liatris_squarrosa
http://www.missouriplants.com/Pinkalt/Liatris_squarrosa_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Liatris+squarrosa