Tall Blazing Star (Liatris Scariosa) is a tall, handsome perennial that throws up its beautiful spike of blossoms in Fall, together with those of the Asters and Golden-rods. The plant usually grows in dry situations and attains heights of 2 to 6 feet. A long spike containing numerous, quite large, flower heads adorns the top of the stem. These heads, which are about ¾ in. in diameter, have a very disheveled appearance for the magenta-purple rays emerge in all directions; they are contained in a large imbricated involucre. The leaves are stiff, lanceolate, and closely alternated along the stem, the upper, small ones, acting as bracts for the flower heads.
The Blazing Star furnishes another welcome color to add to the many hues of the late flowers that so plentifully bedeck our land. It is found from Me. to Mich, and southwards. A more common species, (Liatris spicata) has smaller flower heads, set in a longer spike and has linear leaves. It is found from Mass. to Minn, and southwards.
A. Blazing Star.
Ironweed (Veronia Noveboracensis) Is A Tall (3 To 7 Feet) and smooth-stemmed member of the Composite Family. The alternating leaves are lanceolate and finely toothed. The flower heads are grouped in flat-topped clusters. The rays are slender and very numerous, giving the heads the appearance of little thistles. This species blooms in August and September, at which season it is one of the characteristic plants in moist ground near the seashore. Other similar species are found in the central portions of the country, notably V. altissima, which is common from N. Y. to Mich, and southwards.
A. Joe Pye Weed. Eupatorium purpureum. B. Thoroughwort; Boneset. Eupatorium perfoliatum.
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium Purpureum) is a very familiar and pretty species, found commonly everywhere along the edges of swamps, thickets or about ponds. The simple, rather slender, stem is very tall, attaining heights of from 2 to 10 feet. The stem is usually stained purplish and is set at intervals with whorls of three to six, rough, coarsely-toothed leaves; these latter have short stems, rather broad bases and are sharp-pointed. The flowers grow in flat-topped terminal clusters. Each floret is of a rosy purple color and has projecting styles that give the flowers a very fuzzy appearance. The color, which is very nearly like that of the common Milkweed, causes many to confuse this plant with that species, although they are very dissimilar in every other respect.
Each little tubular floret yields a drop of nectar and is, consequently, highly appreciated by many species of butterflies as well as by bumblebees. Its common name is that of a quack Indian doctor who made frequent use of this plant for the "cures" of various ailments.
Joe Pye Weed is commonly found in moist places from Newfoundland to Minn, and southwards, flowering during August and September.