Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
New York Aster
Aster novi-belgii L.
- Family: Composite (Compositae)
- Flowering: July-October
- Field Marks: The distinguishing features of this aster are its blue rays, its recurved, green-tipped bracts, and its somewhat clasping leaf bases.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, marshes, particularly in brackish areas.
- Habit: Perennial herb from rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, slender, branched, smooth or sometimes hairy in lines, up to 4 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic to lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the more or less clasping base, sometimes with a few scattered teeth, smooth except for the roughened edges, up to 6 inches long.
- Flowers: Many crowded into heads, the heads 1/3-1/2 inch high, arranged in a small, leafy-bracted panicle, each head subtended by recurved, green-tipped bracts, some of the flowers forming blue rays, others forming a central yellowish or reddish disk; ray flowers 20-50, up to 2/3 inch long; disk flowers 1/6-1/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Some united to form flat blue rays, others united to form tubular yellow or reddish disk flowers.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, usually hairy.
- Fruits: Achenes ellipsoid, more or less hairy, about 1/8 inch long, subtended by white hairs.
- Notes: This family is Asteraceae according to Gleason and Cronquist.
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