Prairie Blazing Star (Gayfeather; Button Snakeroot)

Photo of prairie blazing star or gayfeather flowering stalks

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.

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