Native Plants to Know: Meadow Blazing Star

Written by Joel Springsteen
    Thursday, 06 September 2018
Native Plants to Know: Meadow Blazing Star

When it comes to attracting monarch butterflies for nectaring, meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylus) wins hands down! This patch had 15 monarchs on it before I got close to take a picture.

Meadow blazing star will grow in seasonally damp, medium, or slightly dry sites but it prefers loam to sandy loam soil with a good amount of organic material (not a fan of heavy clay). While it does best in full sun this is one of the better blazing stars for yards with partial shade.

Not only is it good at attracting monarchs and other pollinators, it also happens to be very showy!


Meadow blazing star has a large and patchy range in the midwest and great plains. This blazing star is quite similar to rough blazing star (Liatris aspera) but tends to be taller, and its flower heads are larger and on longer lateral stalks which gives the whole spike/inflorescence a more branched look.

Check out this map of the areas medow blazing star is found in the US: http://bonap.net/MapGallery/County/Liatris%20ligulistylis.png.

Joel Springsteen

Joel Springsteen

Joel was born and raised in Papua New Guinea. While in middle school, a project to plant a backyard “rainforest" evolved into a full-blown obsession with habitat restoration. Soon after reaching a peak height of 6ft 2in, Joel moved to Milwaukee. He was amazed to discover that most native plants are conspicuously absent from the city and suburbs. He loves restoring native plant/animal communities because it combines history, ecology, and other disciplines. Joel has degrees in linguistics and biology with an emphasis in botany and conservation. He has been a land steward at the UEC since 2006.


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