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Content tagged with "blazing star"

Photo of rough blazing star flowerhead closeup showing individual florets

Rough Blazing Star (Rough Gayfeather) (Closeup)

Rough blazing star and all blazing stars are members of the sunflower family and thus have numerous tiny flowers grouped together into a flowerhead. In this closeup, you can see the individual purple flowers in a single flowerhead. Each flower (floret) has a tubular, 5-lobed, purple corolla and 2 threadlike, long-protruding style branches.

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Photo of blooming rough blazing star plants in a glade

Rough Blazing Star (Rough Gayfeather) (In Glade)

Blazing stars are an important (and showy) part of the complex community of plants in Missouri’s tallgrass prairie and glade habitats. Rough blazing star can be found nearly statewide.

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Photo of a Xysticus crab spider, individual, on rough blazing star flowerhead.

Xysticus Crab Spider on Rough Blazing Star

Crab spiders capture prey by sitting quietly on vegetation and waiting for an insect or other spider to pass by. Then, they simply grab and bite it. Moths and butterflies make up the bulk of their prey. Here, the spider is on a flowerhead of rough blazing star, Liatris aspera. You can tell by the flowerhead’s bracts, which are rounded, somewhat pouched or swollen, and have thin, whitish or transparent margins that are unevenly torn-looking.

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