Liatris pycnostachya (L.) Willd.
Family: Asteraceae
prairie blazing-star, thick-spike blazing-star, thick-spike gay-feather
Liatris pycnostachya image
Paul Drobot  
Etymology: Liatris: meaning lost in antiquity
Plants: erect, perennial, 2'-4' tall forb; leafy stems hairy to inflorescence
Leaves: alternate, linear, up to 1/2" wide
Flowers: head 1/2" wide with 5-7 pink flowers, bracts (phyllaries) tapering to pointed, spreading tips; inflorescence with many stalkless heads in a dense spike; blooms July-Sept.
Fruits: dry seed on fluffy pappus
Habitat: full sun; moderate moisture to wet; meadows, prairies; in sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native