Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Whitefield Aster (Aster simplex)
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: August-October.
- Field Marks: This usually white-rayed aster differs
from other white-rayed species by its nearly smooth leaves and by
its flower heads that are not arranged in 1-sided clusters.
- Habitat: Wet prairies, wet meadows, low woods, edges
of streams, wet roadside ditches, sloughs, borders of ponds and
- Habit: Perennial herb with long rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, rather stout, branched or unbranched,
green, smooth or nearly so, up to 6 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic to oblanceolate,
pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, toothed, smooth on both
surfaces, up to 8 inches long, up to 1 1/4 inches wide.
- Flowers: Many crowded into a head with many heads per
plant, each head up to 3/4 inch across and subtended by many
narrow whitish bracts with a green midvein, the outer flowers
white and ray-like, the inner yellow, tubular, forming a disk.
- Sepals: Absent.
- Petals: Some white, very narrow, ray-like, 20-50 in
number, others yellow, 5-parted, forming a short tube.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, hairy.
- Fruits: Achenes elongated, hairy, light brown, about
1/10 inch long.
- Notes: The fruits of this species are eaten by
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