Liatris cymosa

(Branched Gayfeather)


Liatris cymosa, Bastrop State Park, Bastrop Co. 1466-1


Liatris cymosa, Bastrop State Park, Bastrop Co. 1470


Liatris cymosa, Bastrop State Park, Bastrop Co. 1466-2


Liatris cymosa, Bastrop State Park, Bastrop Co. 1468


Liatris aspera, Bastrop State Park, Bastrop Co. 1345

Scientific Name Liatris cymosa USDA PLANTS Symbol LICY2
Common Name Branched Gayfeather, Branched Blazing Star, Aggie-land Gayfeather ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 37916
Family Asteraceae (Sunflower) SEINet
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Description Habitat: Clay-loam, chalky or gravelly soils in grasslands, fields, post-oak woodland openings and fencerows.
Plant: Erect perennial with one or more leafy, branched stems from 8 to 30 inches; with short, stiff or pubescent hairs.
Leaves: Basal and stem leaves linear to narrowly oblanceolate, single-nerved (one vein), 3 to 8 inches long, reduced on upper half of stems, sessile to clasping, hairless surfaces and gland-dotted (punctate); stem leaves alternate and linear.
Inflorescence: A few to many purple composite flowers in an open cyme-like arrangement, each head with ~20 to 25 florets (rays are absent); bell-shaped to cylindrical involucre with several series of phyllaries; outer phyllaries almost round and slightly hairy, inner ones with pointed tips and may be purple-tinged.
Bloom Period: July to October.
References: "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, "Rare Plants of Texas" by Poole, Carr, Price and Singhurst and Flora of North America.
Note: L. cymosa is a rare plant, endemic to a few counties in SE Texas. It is the only Liatris with branched stems. These photos were taken in mid-October, and the blooms were well-past their prime.
BONAP Distribution Map

Map Color Key
Texas Status:

Banner photo of Castilleja indivisa and Lupinus ssp. taken along FM 1323 north of Johnson City, Blanco County

© Tom Lebsack 2024