Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Fairy Aster (Aster vimineus)
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: August-October.
- Field Marks: Among all the asters with white rays,
the fairy aster is the only one with flat, green bracts that are
not spiny tipped, heads less than 2/3 inch long, and the branches
bearing the flowers arched and spreading.
- Habitat: Wet prairies, wet meadows, along streams,
roadside ditches, around ponds and lakes.
- Habit: Perennial herb with creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, branched, smooth or somewhat hairy,
sometimes purplish, up to 4 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, linear to lanceolate,
pointed at the tip, tapering to the sessile base, with or without
teeth, smooth except for the roughened margins, up to 4 inches
long, up to 1/2 inch wide.
- Flowers: Many crowded into a head, the outer white
and ray-like, the inner tubular, yellow, forming a disk, with
several heads per plant, each head up to 1/2 inch across,
subtended by several flat, pointed, green bracts.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Some white, narrow, united to form rays, up
to 1/4 inch long, others yellow, 5-lobed, united below into a
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes dark, sparsely hairy, 1/12 inch long.
- Notes: The fruits of this species are eaten by
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