Liatris helleri T.C. Porter

Locations ofLiatris helleri T.C. Porter in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Liatris helleri T.C. Porter
Common Name
Heller's Blazing Star
Liatris turgida Gaiser
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Liatris helleri T.C. Porter
Our plants have long been called Liatris turgida, and are now included in a broadened concept of Liatris helleri, formerly considered a rare, narrow endemic of the higher Southern Appalachians; see Nesom in Sida 21:1323-1333 (2005). More recent studies show molecular differentiation between the two putative species, but with a narrower circumscription of L. helleri, with some higher elevation populations being better assigned to L. turgida. According to Flora of the Southeastern U.S. (Weakley et al. 2023), new morphological studies are planned to find characters to reliably differentiate the two taxa. Given that this issue is still unresolved, we are continuing to follow Nesom (2005) until work delineating the two species and resurrecting Liatris turgida is published.
Dry, rocky woodlands, barrens, outcrops, and clearings, at middle to high elevations; occurs on both acidic and base-rich substrates. Infrequent but widely distributed in the mountains.
Native Status

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