Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
White Heath Aster
Aster ericoides L.
- Family: Composite (Compositae)
- Flowering: July-November
- Field Marks: This aster is distinguished by the numerous small white flower heads, its bracts
with green, spreading tips, and its crowded linear leaves on the branches of the inflorescence.
- Habitat: Dry, open soil.
- Habit: Perennial herb from slender rhizomes and slender stolons.
- Stems: Upright, much branched, hairy, up to 6 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, numerous, linear, without teeth, hairy and usually rough to the touch, up to 2 inches long, those in the inflorescence much smaller.
- Flowers: Many crowded into heads, the heads up to 1/4 inch high, arranged in 1-sided racemes, each head subtended by several rows of bracts with hairy, green, spreading tips, some of the flowers forming white rays, others forming a central white disk; ray flowers 8-20, up to 1/4 inch long; disk flowers 10-20.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Some united to form flat rays, others united to form tubular disk flowers.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, hairy.
- Fruits: Achenes elongated, silky-hairy, up to 1/8 inch long, subtended by white hairs.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist use Asteraceae as the name for this family. This species is variable in degree of hairiness on the stems and in the color of the ray flowers which is usually white but sometimes pink or blue.
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