DOTTED GAYFEATHER
File Size: 156 KB
 
Liatris punctata  Hook.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 6-30 inches
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   August, September
Also Called: Blazing star, button snakeroot.
Stems: Erect, solitary or in clusters, stiff, glabrous.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, sessile, numerous, linear, to 6 inches long, less than 1/5 inch wide, covered with tiny dots or pits; margins entire; upper leaves reduced in size.
Inflorescences: Elongate leafy spikes of many crowded heads; heads cylindric, 1/2 to 3/4 inch tall; bracts narrow, in 3-4 series, tips pointed, margins fringed with white hairs.
Flowers: Ray florets absent; disk florets 3-8, rose-purple, corollas pubescent inside.
Fruits: Achenes, short, ribbed, dark brown, tipped with many feather-like bristles, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Dry, open, upland sites, most abundant on sandy soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Forage Value: In the early growth stage, the herbage is nutritious and palatable for livestock, being especially preferred by sheep.
Uses: Native Americans utilized the roots as a food source and to make a tea used to treat stomachaches.
Comments: Called crow-foot by some Native American tribes, because crows were often observed eating the roots in the fall. Dotted gayfeather produces a taproot that can reach a depth of 15 feet, making it quite drought-resistant.

Dotted gayfeather infloresence
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather infloresence
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather disk florets
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather pappus
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Riley County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather leaf
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather inflorescence
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Dotted gayfeather
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas