The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory will close at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, due to an official government function. The Conservatory will return to normal hours December 7.
Liatris scariosa var. novae-angliae, a rare plant also known as the New England blazing star, is native to sandplain grasslands and coastal heathlands in the northeastern United States. These threatened plant communities are found primarily along the New England coast, where salt spray from the ocean, grazing and fires caused by lightning have historically inhibited the succession of the exposed landscape to forests dominated by woody shrubs and trees. Scientists working to protect the New England blazing star are currently studying the effects of carefully controlled prescribed burns in areas where fire suppression has changed the composition of its habitat. Photo credit: Thomas G. Barnes, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database