Slender Blazing Star     
Liatris gracilis - Pursh              
      Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Slender Blazing Star is a native herbaceous perennial in the Sunflower family (Asteraceae). It occurs in the southern half of Alabama where it is often abundant. Slender Blazing Star grows in sand hills, in pine and scrub oak forests, on dunes, and in dry pine/turkey oak forests on red clay. It is perennial from a roundish corm (an upright thickened underground stem).

The leaves and stem are hairy. Slender Blazing Star has a cluster of larger basal leaves. The leaves are often twisted perpendicular to the direct rays of the sun at mid-day. The stem leaves are quickly reduced in size. The flowers are produced in heads on short pedicles (stalks).

The flowers are light to dark purple in color, and there are three to six per head. The heads open from the top of the stem to the base.

The fruit is a pubescent achene with a tuff white bristles at its top.

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