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For Your Garden - May 2018

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

marsh blazing-star (Liatris spicata)
Photo © John Hilty

Marsh blazing-star is found statewide in prairies, wet meadows and sandy soil. A single plant may attain a height of up to 60 inches. This member of the aster family has unbranched, smooth stems. The leaves are thin, much like a blade of grass. Blue-purple to red-pink flower heads are produced from July through September. The flower heads attach directly to the stem. Bracts the below flower heads are sticky, long, flat and purple or have purple edges. Pollinators are attracted to the nectar and pollen from this species.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae

Illinois Status: common, native