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Similar to Northern Plains Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis) but that species has longer (an inch or so) stalked flower heads and is more often found in moist soil. Also, the floral bracts of Rough Blazing Star are rounded, fringed, and curled inward.
In an old field in full sun. This species is typically associated with dry prairie ecosystems but does occasionally grow in old fields, railroad right-of-ways, and similar habitats with well-drained and often low-nutrient soils.