Species Profile

Dense Blazing Star

Scientific Name: Liatris spicata
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: Ontario
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: April 2010
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This showy perennial herb is restricted in Canada to a few remnant tallgrass prairie habitats in southwestern Ontario. A variety of threats, including lack of consistent application of fire to control the spread of woody species, spread of invasive plants, loss of habitat to agriculture and development and various management practices, including mowing, have placed the species at continued risk.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Special Concern in April 1988. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in May 2001. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2010.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Dense Blazing Star

Dense Blazing Star Photo 1
Dense Blazing Star Photo 2

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Description

Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) is a perennial herb of the aster family. It has numerous, narrow, grass–like leaves becoming smaller up the stem. The flowering stem is a robust and striking spike of densely packed, purple, compound flowering heads. The inflorescence is commonly 40–70 cm, but can reach over 1 m long, with the plant up to 2 m tall. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Distribution and Population

Dense Blazing Star is widespread over much of the eastern United States. In Canada, it is restricted to southwestern Ontario. Over 90% of all native Dense Blazing Star plants in Canada grow at Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN), with another large population in Windsor. There are ten extant populations in Ontario. The actual area of habitat occupied is probably only about 2.5 km². (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Habitat

Dense Blazing Star is a plant of open tallgrass prairies. It can grow in a range of moisture regimes from dry to very moist. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Biology

Dense Blazing Star is an outcrossing, insect–pollinated perennial that reproduces by seed. The overwintering organ is a globular corm. Based on horticultural information, plants live for about 3–5 years. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Threats

The major threat is loss of habitat through land use change, mainly to development, but also to agriculture. Encroachment by woody species is causing habitat decline in all populations and has extirpated some. Lack of frequent fires is the main reason for the growth of woody species. Management practices (mowing, site alteration, vegetation control) are also a threat. Trampling is a concern at some sites. Invasive species, particularly the non–native form of Common Reed, have degraded portions of the species habitat. Erosion from the wake of passing ships has caused local loss of plants at WIFN. Herbicide use may have caused one extirpation. The construction of a proposed expressway and bridge close to Ojibway Prairie could result in the loss of a large number of individuals. Cross–contamination from non–native hybrids and cultivated varieties is a potential threat, but one that has not been demonstrated yet. (Updated 2017/06/05)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Dense Blazing Star is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

14 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Dense Blazing Star Liatris spicata in Canada (2010-09-03)

    Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) is a perennial herb of the aster family. It has numerous, narrow, grass-like leaves becoming smaller up the stem. The flowering stem is a robust and striking spike of densely packed, purple, compound flowering heads. The inflorescence is commonly 40-70 cm, but can reach over 1 m long, with the plant up to 2 m tall.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Dense Blazing Star Liatris spicata (2010-09-03)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common name Dense Blazing Star Scientific name Liatris spicata Status Threatened Reason for designation This showy perennial herb is restricted in Canada to a few remnant tallgrass prairie habitats in southwestern Ontario. A variety of threats, including lack of consistent application of fire to control the spread of woody species, spread of invasive plants, loss of habitat to agriculture and development and various management practices, including mowing, have placed the species at continued risk. Occurrence Ontario Status history Designated Special Concern in April 1988. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in May 2001. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2010. Please note that the related COSEWIC Status Report is available below in PDF format. You will be asked to provide your e-mail address then you will receive a link to download the publication. After processing, your email address is not retained in any way and is automatically discarded by our system.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Dense Blazing Star (2010-12-02)

    This showy perennial herb is restricted in Canada to a few remnant tallgrass prairie habitats in southwestern Ontario. A variety of threats, including lack of consistent application of fire to control the spread of woody species, spread of invasive plants, loss of habitat to agriculture and development and various management practices, including mowing, have placed the species at continued risk.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) in Canada (2014-12-10)

    Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) is an herbaceous perennial reaching up to 2 m in height with a dense, showy spike of purple (occasionally white) flowers. Flowering occurs from mid-July to mid-September. Cultivated strains of the species have been bred for use in the floral trade and as ornamentals in gardens.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010-09-03)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-06-01)

    Activities may include any of the following for any species: Collection of small amounts of seed (<1%) for propagation ex situ for the pupose of studying seed viability, germination condisions and rates. Collection of a mall proportion (<1%) of inflorescences or flowers for the purpose of determining fertility, seed predation rates, etc. Removal of a small number (<0.1%) of individuals of annual species (e.g. Agalinus spp.) for research on habitat and microsite requirements. Collection of seed for the purpose of propagation ex situ plants to provide material for research and/or for restoration projects. Mapping location, counting and setting up permanent study quadrats may sometime involve accidental trampling of some plants and portions of some habitat. This will be kept to a minimum. Some perturbation of habitat may occur during removal of invasive species. Some experimental purturbation of habitat for restoration purposes may be done in locations where species at risk are thought to be extirpated.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#34), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-12-07)

    A single plant has been located on a proposed development site. In the regional environmental assessment for this project it was recommended that the plant be transplanted to another location on Walpole Island First Nation. This plant will be re-located to a protected tall-grass prairie on Walpole Island First Nation.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2007-0082), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-04-23)

    Planned building construction works involves the relocation of sod and subsoils where Dense Blazingstar (Liatris spicata) occur from an existing location to a protected tall grass prairie on Walpole Island First Nation.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2008-0085), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-05-13)

    Activities will include census of populations of White Prairie Gentian, Showy Golden Rod, Pink Milkwort and Small White Ladies Slipper on Walpole Island First Nation; collection of sample leaves from White Prairie Gentian for genetic analysis; detailed measurements and collection of limited fruit capsules from Small White Ladies Slipper; and collection of small amounts of seeds from White Prairie Gentian, Showy Goldenrod, Pink Milkwort, Kentucky Coffee Tree and Common Hop Tree for propagation ex situ for the purpose studying seed viability, germination conditions and rates, and eventual planting of propagated plants to a protected tallgrass prairie / oak savanna / woodland restoration sites on the Walpole Island First Nation. Some experimental perturbation of habitat for restoration purposes may be done in locations where species at risk are thought to be extirpated.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2008-0102), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2008-10-27)

    Walpole Island Public Works have identified the need to reconstruct Creek Road North and Creek Road South. Site surveys have identified species of SARA listed plants to be located on portions of the road corridor that would be impacted by construction. The Species at Risk Assessment and Impact Analysis recommends relocation of a small number of identified SARA plants as well as cordoning off of areas of interest that are in close proximity to the construction site.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-OR-2009-0119), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2009-09-16)

    Planned housing construction works involves the relocation of sod and subsoils where SARA listed plants occur. Said plants are to be relocated from the existing site to a protected tall grass prairie habitat located elsewhere on Walpole Island First Nation. Some plants located on the construction site will not be relocated however they will be protected by fencing and will be monitored for preservation and conservation purposes.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – November 2010 (2010-12-02)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by February 4, 2011 for species undergoing normal consultations and by February 4, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.

Exceptions

  • Public Registry Notice for s.83 Exceptions - Former Camp Ipperwash (2015-03-06)

    As per the Memorandum of Understanding between DND, Environment Canada, and the Parks Canada Agency: 6.1 c) Activities occurring on Defence Establishments that are considered necessary for public safety in accordance with paragraph a) and authorized under the National Defence Act and the Explosives Act are: Remediation of contaminated sites; and Securing, handling, destruction or disposal of unsafe munitions, including unexploded explosive ordnance.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016-07-06)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update December 2, 2021
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