Hi, Dr. Hill,
Another Liatris: original plant was growing in the Fall Line, rural road, mostly sandy soil (some clay) in full sun. The flower count ranges between 18-20. The photos were taken in early October. I’ve attached pictures that I hope will represent some of the identifying markers you have mentioned as helpful. Thanks!
this also may be Liatris earlei. Sorry I cannot be more certain.
Steven Hill, Ph.D., Botanist, SCNPS