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Published In: Flora Boreali-Americana (Michaux) 2: 92. 1803. (Fl. Bor.-Amer.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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8. Liatris squarrosa (L.) Michx.

Pl. 268 e, f; Map 1128

Rootstock a more or less globose corm. Stems 20–75 cm long, glabrous or moderately hairy. Basal and adjacent lower stem leaves sessile to short-petiolate, the blades 7–20 cm long, 2–12 mm wide, linear to narrowly lanceolate or narrowly oblanceolate, the margins usually light, hard, and thickened, sometimes also sparsely hairy, flat, the surfaces glabrous or sparsely to moderately pubescent with spreading, curly hairs, green, with 3–5 main veins, grading toward the stem tip to shorter leaves, these mostly sessile, 3–15 cm long, linear. Inflorescences relatively short to more elongate spicate racemes (rarely reduced to a single terminal head), the heads loosely spaced (the axis easily visible between heads), sessile or with stalks 1–10 mm long, these with usually 1 basal bract. Heads with 15–45(–60) disc florets, the terminal head usually slightly larger than the others. Involucre 11–25 mm long, narrowly cup-shaped to cup-shaped, with 5–7 weakly unequal, overlapping series of bracts (the outer series usually appearing noticeably longer than the other series, especially on the terminal head). Involucral bracts broadly ovate to oblong-lanceolate, long-tapered to a sharply pointed, abruptly spreading to recurved tip, usually with narrow, slightly thickened, pale margins, these sometimes slightly to strongly purplish-tinged, entire but with relatively dense, spreading hairs (the surface sometimes also sparsely to moderately hairy), the main body appearing flat below the tip. Corollas 12–14 mm long, the lobes with often dense, short, stiff hairs on the inner (upper) surface. Pappus bristles plumose. Fruits 4–6 mm long. 2n=20. July–September.

Scattered nearly throughout the state, but absent from most of the western half of the Glaciated Plains Division (eastern U.S. west to South Dakota, Colorado, and Texas). Glades, ledges and tops of bluffs, openings of dry upland forests, savannas, and upland prairies; also pastures, fencerows, railroads, and roadsides.

For discussion of putative hybrids with L. cylindracea, see the treatment of that species. In Missouri, there is some morphological overlap between the three varieties, which are reasonably distinct elsewhere in their ranges.


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1 1. Stems and leaves glabrous below the inflorescence ... 8A. VAR. GLABRATA

Liatris squarrosa var. glabrata
2 1. Stems and leaves hairy

3 2. All but the outermost involucral bracts relatively short-tapered to an abruptly spreading or reflexed tip; stems and leaves pubescent with relatively straight, spreading hairs ... 8B. VAR. HIRSUTA

Liatris squarrosa var. hirsuta
4 2. Most or all of the involucral bracts relatively long-tapered to a gradually or less commonly abruptly spreading or reflexed tip; stems and leaves pubescent with bent or curled, appressed to loosely matted hairs ... 8C. VAR. SQUARROSA Liatris squarrosa (L.) Michx. var. squarrosa


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