Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Aster prenanthoides Muhl.
- Family: Composite (Compositae)
- Flowering: August-October
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its rough leaves that are abruptly tapering and clasping at the base, its rather large, blue- to pale purple- to white-rayed flower heads, and its very narrow bracts with a narrow green central stripe.
- Habitat: Moist woods, bottomlands, wet meadows, roadside ditches.
- Habit: Perennial herb from long, creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, branched above, zigzag, slender, smooth or hairy in lines, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to narrowly ovate, pointed at the tip, tapering to a clasping base, sharply toothed except toward the base, rough to the touch, smooth or hairy along the midvein below, up to 8 inches long, up to 2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Many crowded into heads, with several heads in a leafy panicle, the heads 1/4-1/3 inch high, subtended by very narrow bracts with a narrow green central stripe, some of the flowers forming blue to pale purple to white rays, others forming a central yellow disk; ray flowers 20-30, 1/3-3/4 inch long; disk flowers tubular.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Some united to form flat blue rays, others united to form tubular yellow disk flowers.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, with appressed hairs.
- Fruits: Achenes ellipsoid, hairy, about 1/8 inch long, subtended by yellowish hairs.
- Notes: This family is Asteraceae according to Gleason and Cronquist.
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