Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Aster tradescanti L.
- Family: Composite (Compositae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: The features that distinguish this aster from others are its relatively few white
flower heads about 1/4 inch high and its very narrow bracts with a green, diamond-shaped
- Habitat: Along streams, around ponds.
- Habit: Perennial herb from slender rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched or sparingly branched, slender, smooth or hairy in lines, up to 2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, narrowly lanceolate to oblong, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, with or without sparse teeth, smooth, up to 4 inches long, up to 1/2 inch wide, the lower leaves on slender stalks, the upper leaves sessile.
- Flowers: Many crowded into heads, with relatively few heads in an elongated panicle, the heads about 1/4 inch high, subtended by narrow bracts with a green, diamond-shaped tip, some of the flowers forming white rays, others forming a central yellow disk; ray flowers 14-30, 1/6-1/3 inch long; disk flowers tubular.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Some united to form flat rays, others united to form tubular disk flowers.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, smooth or sparsely hairy.
- Fruits: Achenes ellipsoid, smooth or sparsely hairy, about 1/8 inch long, subtended by white hairs.
- Notes: According to Gleason and Cronquist, the family name is Asteraceae.
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