The individual flowerheads of blazing stars (in the genus Liatris
) and ironweeds (in the genus Vernonia
) are quite similar: both groups have reddish-purple, fuzzy-looking flowerheads of 5-lobed, tubular florets with 2 long, threadlike style branches. However, blazing stars have the flowerheads arranged on a single, unbranching stalk
, while ironweeds bear their flowerheads in branching clusters
at the tops of the plant stems.