Liatris scariosa at Indiana Dunes

Family:     Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     30-140 cm (1-4.5 ft)

Blooming: August-September


Nieuwland's BlazingStar

Liatris scariosa var. nieuwlandii (Lunell) E.G. Voss

Stem: often hairy to densely pubescent.  Upper stem is often a dark maroon. 

Flowers: it often has between 9 to 20 flower heads with 30 to 80 flowers in each head.  The flowers are on stalks or peduncles 7-50 mm. (.25-2 in.) long.  The florets are a gorgeous pink-purplish coloer.

Leaves: unlike the other varieties, the leaves are more-or-less even-sized and densely arranged.  The upper, cauline leaves are lanceolate shaped.  The lower leaf blades are up to 5 cm. (2 in.) wide.  The lower leaves most of the time are petiolate while upper leaves are sessile (attached directly to the stem).

Sun: Full to part sun


Ideal conditions: Dry open to partially-shaded conditions.


Illinois Wildflowers - Savanna blazingstar

Michigan Flora - Liatris scariosa

Midwest Herbaria - Liatris scariosa

Shinners, L.H., 1943. A revision of the Liatris scariosa complex. The American Midland Naturalist, 29(1), pp.27-41.

Liatris aspera at Indiana Dunes

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Nieuwland's blazingstar

Comments:  Also called, savanna blazingstar.  It looks close to its cousin, rough blazingstar, but notice that Nieuwland's has long stalks (pedicels) that are attached from the stem to the flower whereas rough blazing star either has short stalks or non at all.  They often grow in the same habitat within tallgrass savannas.

It is rare, but keep your eye out for a white flowered form.

The variety that grows in Northwest Indiana is all var. nieuwlandii which grows taller than the other two varieties among other traits.


Syn. Liatris novae-angliae var. nieuwlandii 

Etymology: It is unknown where its genus name, Liatris, derived from.  Scariosa means "shrivelled, dried, thin".