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Liatris microcephala

smallhead blazing star add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: average, poor, clay, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 1'-2'

Bloom Time: July, August, September

Bloom Color: purple, lavender

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 6, 7

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, clumping, cut flowers, drought tolerant, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, rock garden plant

Liatris microcephala (smallhead blazing star)
  • Liatris microcephala (smallhead blazing star)
  • Liatris microcephala (smallhead blazing star)

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Liatris microcephala

Also known as:

smallhead blazing star


button snake root


dwarf liatris


dwarf blazing star

Scientific Synonyms:

Lacinaria microcephala


The small, compact form of Liatris microcephala is unusual for the genus. It forms neat little clumps of grass-like foliage. Each rosette will produce several 2' tall stems with terminal spikes of fluffy purple flowers typical of most other liatris.


Smallhead blazing star is easy to grow and low maintenance. It is tolerant of poor soil and dry conditions. It is best placed in full to part-sun. The soil should be well-drained, particularly in areas with wet winters. This is a late summer to early fall bloomer: July to September. It is limited to a small native range in the southern Appalachians in zones 6-7, but is adaptable to warmer areas, and colder ones with protection.


Propagate from seed or by clump division in early spring.

Additional Notes

Liatris microcephala is a very attractive, rewarding species that has been underutilized and under commercialized. It is ideal for cottage gardens and rock gardens alike. The flower spikes are a good choice for use in cut flower arrangements.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae Aster family
Genus Liatris blazing star
Species Liatris microcephala smallhead blazing star