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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Liatris

15. Liatris pycnostachya Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 91. 1803.

Prairie or cattail gayfeather

Lacinaria pycnostachya (Michaux) Kuntze

Plants (40–)60–120(–180) cm. Corms globose, sometimes becoming elongate rhizomes. Stems glabrous or densely piloso-puberulent. Leaves: basal and proximal cauline 3–5-nerved, linear to narrowly oblanceolate or oblanceolate, 110–220 × 4–10(–12) mm, gradually then abruptly reduced distally (bractlike proximal to heads), essentially glabrous or sparsely pilose to densely piloso-puberulent, weakly gland-dotted (bases of basal usually fibrous-persistent). Heads in dense, spiciform arrays. Peduncles usually 0, rarely (spreading to ascending) 1–2 mm. Involucres campanulate-cylindric, 7–9(–10) × 3.5–5 mm. Phyllaries (reflexed or curving-spreading) in 4–5 series, oblong-lanceolate, unequal, essentially glabrous or ± pilose, margins with hyaline borders, sometimes ciliate, apices usually acute to acute-acuminate (sometimes distally dilated, nearly petaloid). Florets (4–)5–8; corolla tubes glabrous inside. Cypselae 3.8–4.5(–5) mm; pappi: lengths ± equaling corollas, bristles barbellate.

Varieties 2 (2 in the flora): e United States.

1 Corms globose; stems usually glabrous or sparsely pilose except near heads (where sparsely piloso-puberulent); leaves glabrous   15a Liatris pycnostachya var. pycnostachya
+ Corms globose to elongate; stems moderately to densely piloso-puberulent; leaves moderately to densely piloso-puberulent to nearly glabrous   15b Liatris pycnostachya var. lasiophylla


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