by Carl Strang
The blazing stars are among our showiest native wildflowers.
In winter the seeds drift away, leaving the 2-4-foot stalk.
This individual still retained most of the flower head bracts.
The stems also retain much of their fuzziness. Many of the stem leaves remain attached.
At Mayslake Forest Preserve I have a second species to compare, the marsh blazing star (L. spicata).
Marsh blazing star stems have small white dots, but are smooth rather than fuzzy.
Distinguishing these species requires a magnifying glass, but the blazing stars as a group are easy enough to recognize in winter.