THICKSPIKE GAYFEATHER
File Size: 117 KB
 
Liatris pycnostachya  Michx.
Woodson County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 2-5 feet
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Also Called: Kansas gayfeather, tall blazing star, prairie blazing star.
Stems: Erect, stiff, coarse-hairy in the inflorescence at maturity.
Leaves: Alternate, numerous, linear, 4 to 20 inches long, up to 1/2 inch side, reduced upward.
Inflorescences: Spike, elongated, 6 to 12 inches long; heads sessile, crowded, cylindric, 1/3 to 1/2 inch tall.
Flowers: Bracts tapering to points, tips spreading, curved backward; ray florets absent; disk florets 5-12, corollas pinkish-purple, glabrous within, about 1/3 inch long.
Fruits: Achene, ribbed, tipped with finely barbed bristles, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Open moist prairies, draws, low areas, and open woods.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas.
Uses: A poultice made from the roots was used in the past to treat snakebites.
Comments: Thickspike gayfeather is sometimes used in dried flower arrangements.

Thickspike gayfeather inflorescence
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Woodson County, Kansas
Thickspike gayfeather florets
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Woodson County, Kansas
Thickspike gayfeather leaves
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Woodson County, Kansas
Thickspike gayfeather
167 KB
Woodson County, Kansas
Thickspike gayfeather
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Barton County, Missouri
Thickspike gayfeather
48 KB
Barton County, Missouri
Thickspike gayfeather
52 KB
Barton County, Missouri