A long lived perennial, growing from a thick deep root (or corm), Liatris aspera creates a spectacular display on xeric sand prairies from mid August to mid September, typically blooming along with western sunflower (Helianthus occidentalis), and flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata.
The photo on Edge of the Prairie's Xeric Sand Prairie page shows this assemblage on a sand prairie at Big Eastern, in Starke County, Indiana. In the case of the population at Big Eastern another common associate is pictured in the background to the photograph above: Froelichia floridana campestris, a plant which is locally abundant (See Swink and Wilhelm) where bare sand is exposed--in this case a blowout.
The photograph above was taken with a Nikon CoolPix 950 during the summer of 2000; the lavender color is more typical of the species. In the background the yellow flowers of a typical associate, Helianthus occidentalis can be seen.
Liatris aspera produces copious quantities of seeds, which like most prairie forbs seeds are fluffy and can be carried on the wind.