Liatris helleri

Common Names:
Heller's blazing-star, Heller's gay-feather
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
North Carolina Botanical Garden

The conservation of Liatris helleri is fully sponsored.


Heller's Blazing Star is an extremely rare and attractive native wildflower. Its habitat consists of rocky outcrops, ledges, cliffs and balds at high elevations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It is currently known to grow in only seven locations. Two additional sites have been lost to residential and recreational developments and, in spite of extensive searches, plants have not been seen in these areas for the last fifty years. This species was probably never common due to its restricted and isolated habitat requirements. Because there are so few sites left, Hellers Blazing Star is most vulnerable to seemingly minor threats such as trampling by hikers, climbers, and sightseers.
Hellers Blazing Star produces one or more flowering stalks which rise above a rosette of narrow basal leaves. The showy flowering stalk may reach to 40 cm in height and bears gradually diminishing cauline leaves before culminating in a spike of lavender flowers (Kral 1983). This species flowers from July to September (Radford et al. 1964) and fruits from August to October (Massey et al. 1980).

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research