Scrub Blazingstar (Liatris ohlingerae)
One of the most beautiful of the Lake Wales Ridge scrub endemics, scrub blazingstar is an Endangered Species which occurs naturally only in scrubs on the Lake Wales Ridge in Polk and Highlands Counties. Most blazingstar species have their flowers arranged in terminal spikes, but this one has them in rounded heads. Scrub blazingstar is a herbaceous perennial that dies back in winter and resprouts from its underground tuber in spring. The tuber also permits it to resprout quickly after fire. You can see scrub blazingstar at Lake Arbuckle State Park and State Forest, Archbold Biological Station, and at The Nature Conservancy's scrub preserves in Polk County. It's also common in scrubs around Hesperides east of Lake Wales.
Scrub blazingstar blooms in late summer. Rumor has it that the cut-flower industry has discovered scrub blazingstar and that Dutch flower growers are attempting to cultivate it commercially.