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Dotted/Spotted Gayfeather (Liatris punctata)

Dotted Blazing Star, Spotted Gayfeather, Snakeroot

Liatris punctate

(Order Asterales; Family Asteraceae)

Liatris punctata (Photo by John Egbert)


Height: 60-90 cm       

Stems: erect up to 80 cm, one or more

Leaves: sand paper feel, spotted with dots of resin, bottom leaves 10 cm long, growing smaller on the way to the top, pointed upwards

Infloresences: one to a dozen spike shaped flower heads, 1.3 cm wide

Flowers: many flowers per head, usually purple, can be white

Fruits: achene, bear bristles

Taproot: may extend up to 5 m down

Flowering Period: July through September

Habitat: Pine forests, grasslands, and prarie

Entymology: punctata means, “with colored or translucent dots or pits"

Conservation Status: not threatened

Native Status: Native to Kansas and the United States

Distribution: From Northern Mexico through central U.S., and throughout central Canada.

Distribution of Liatris punctata

Visitors: butterflies, beetles, bees, flies, grasshoppers

Grasshopper on Liatris punctata (Photo by Shanay R. Cantu-Chambers)

(Kansas: Sedgwick County, Wichita, 37° 44’604’’N, 97° 16’223’’W. July 12, 2012.)

Human Uses: Used by American Indians as a food


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Plant Database:

USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Plants Profile:


Hansen, J. 2012. Kansas Native Plants. Plant Guide

Wynia, R. Plant Fact Sheet. USDA NRCS Manhattan Plant Materials Center.

USDA. 2005. Montana Native Plants for Pollinator-Friendly Plantings.

Image Credits:

Liatris punctata. Photo by John Egbert.

Liatris punctata Distribution Map.

Submitted by: Shanay R. Cantu-Chambers, 2012

Wichita State University
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