Blazing stars (Liatris ssp.) are perennial plants of the Aster family. Blooming in late September through November, the dark purple, feathery flower heads make a spectacular statement against the background of Ashton’s green grass. Blazing stars bloom from top down, and the flowers attract pollinators like bees, wasps, and butterflies. These flowers come up well after a fire, like our prescribed burn this summer.

Florida has fifteen distinct species of blazing stars growing in our hammocks, prairies, and flatwoods. Sadly, three of these species are endangered today, as development and competition from invasive exotic plants crowd out Florida’s native species.

You can protect Florida’s native plants by learning to tell native plants apart from invasive ones, and using native plants in your gardening. Learn more about how to help native plants here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag108