Blazing star (Liatris spicata, especially its compact form 'Kobold') tends to be the only one of the Liatris clan many gardeners know. That's too bad, since every one is garden worthy -- long lived, clump forming, late blooming and great for adding their vertical lines to a garden full of that prevalent plant form, the mound. In addition, these native North Americans are favorite butterfly nectar sources and bird seed factories.
Right: One distinctive feature of Liatris is its determinate flower stalk. That is, it grows to its full height and then blooms from the tip down. Many other garden flowers that are arranged on a vertical stalk continue growing up from the tip as they bloom, so open flowers are below unopened buds.