Blazing star is a native perennial forb found in the prairie. Blazing star is in the Asteraceae family, also known as the sunflower family. Its inflorescence is born in terminal spikes with elongate heads with brilliant purple disk florets only, lacking ray florets. Blazing star is easily recognized by its dense cluster of purple flowers and rod shape.
Blazing star is found in the Great Plains from Canada to northeastern Mexico.
Blazing star increases in abundance with heavy grazing. Blazing star is eaten by pronghorn antelope; however its achenes* are not consumed. The flowers are visited by a variety of butterflies for its sweet nectar.
This plant is quite showy, many people collect blazing star as an ornamental flower or to make flower arrangements.
Native Americans and early settlers used blazing star for stomachaches, swellings, urinary problems and gastrointestinal problems.
*Achene: small, dry, indehiscent, 1-seeded fruit.