liatris look-alike

leaveswave(.)July 14, 2006

Anyone know what is the roadside plant that's blooming now and has a purple spike of flowers? It looks similar to liatris, but not enough to be the native version...at least as I've been whizzing by it.

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sjmarq(z4 MN)

It's probably not just a look alike - it is a liatris. Most likely liatris aspera (rough blazing star) which are native to MN prairies.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 8:40AM
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leaveswave(.)

I thought of that, but it does not have the punctuated bloom shape.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 1:35PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Is it more to the blue end? Perhaps Viper's Bugloss - Echium vulgare?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 3:33PM
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dentaybow(Z3A MN)

Purple? Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife)
Pinkish-lavender? Epilobium augustifolium (Fireweed)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 6:42AM
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leaveswave(.)

So far, purple loosestrife is the leading candidate, even though I haven't seen it in particularly moist locations. Are there any native Lythrums?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:51AM
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leaveswave(.)
    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:55AM
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dentaybow(Z3A MN)

Lythrum salicaria does grow on dry soil. When first introduced, it thrived in ordinary garden soil.

Yes, there are several native Lythrums in this country. Most are found farther south and along the coasts. L. alatum would probably be the only Lythrum native in Minnesota.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 12:40PM
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