Liatris spicata, the dense blazing star or prairie gay feather, is an herbaceous perennial plant native throughout most of eastern North America. Native to moist prairies and sedge meadows.
Liatris spicata var. resinosa is found in the southern part of the species natural range, the variable plants have only 5 or 6 flowers per head and the heads are more widely spaced on the stems, these differences are more pronounced when the plants are found in drier and coastal habitats.
Liatris spicata is a garden flower in many countries around the world, grown for its showy purple flowers (pink or white in some cultivars). The tall spikes of purple flowers appear in July and August. It thrives in full sun in ordinary garden soil and is excellent for attracting birds and butterflies. Under cultivation it is found under many names including; button snakewort, Kansas gay feather, blazing star, Liatris callilepis.
Liatris spicata 'Alba' and Liatris spicata 'Floristan White' are white flowering cultivars.
^Henry A. Gleason (1963). The New Britton and Brown Illustrated Flora of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada: Illustrated by Original Drawings : 3 Vol. New York Botanical Garden. p. 498.