blazing star or button snakeroot, any plant of the genus Liatris, showy North American perennials of the family Asteraceae (aster family). The blossoms, rosy purple or white, are in somewhat feathery heads along a usually wandlike stalk. Medicinal use has been made of a few species by both Native Americans and settlers. Some are called gayfeather. Blazing star is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.