Northern Blazing Star prefers medium to dry soils, especially with a sandy or rocky component. It can grow between 2-3 feet tall, taller in moister soils. The purple flowers are thistle-like and are typically about 1 inch across. The flowers grow in columned bunches that can extend up to 18 inches of the overall plant stem. Flowers bloom from the top of the plant toward the bottom, so may fall over unless tied to a stake. These flowers attract many bees and butterflies, especially bumblebees and Monarch butterflies.