Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Common California Aster
Aster chilensis Nees
- Family: Composite (Compositae)
- Flowering: June-October
- Field Marks: There are many violet, blue, or white flower heads 1/2-1 inch across, borne in leafy panicles. The bracts that subtend each flower head are ciliate and have a green tip.
- Habitat: Moist or dry fields, along streams.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a thickened rootstock.
- Stems: Upright, branched, up to 3 feet tall, usually hairy.
- Leaves: Lowest leaves obovate to oblanceolate, up to 5 inches long, up to 1 1/2 inches wide, pointed at the tip, tapering to a sessile or clasping base or to a winged stalk, rough on the upper surface and edges, toothed or untoothed; middle leav
lanceolate, up to 3 1/2 inches long, up to 1 inch wide, sessile, rough to the touch, with or
- Flowers: Many borne in heads 1/2-1 inch across, the heads borne in leafy panicles; each head subtended by bracts 1/4-1/3 inch long, narrowly oblong, whitish with a green tip,
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 5, some of them united to form 20-35 violet, blue, or white rays up to 1/2 inch long, others united to form yellow tubular flowers that form a central disk.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, hairy.
- Fruits: Achenes oblanceoloid, hairy, with soft white bristles at the tip.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by birds.
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