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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

49. Asteraceae, the Aster Family

2. Aster L. -- Aster

10. Aster simplex Willd. -- Panicled aster

Very similar to A. hesperius and intergrading with it in our area, differing mainly as follows: Involucres averaging smaller, 4-6 mm or less high, the bracts more or less strongly imbricate, the outer bracts seldom as much as 2/3 as long as the inner ones in mature heads, narrower than 1 mm; lobes of the disk corollas comprising 30-45% of the limb. Aug--Sep. Same habitats as A. hesperius; common, especially in the e half; (N.S. to ND, s to VA and TX).

Three varieties may be recognized among plants of this region. The var. interior (Wieg.) Cronq. barely enters our range in extreme e NE. It is a small-headed form with involucres mostly less than 4 mm high and pappus ca. 3-3.5 mm long. Our other two varieties have larger heads with involucres 4-6 mm high and pappus ca. 3.5-7 mm long. Var. ramosissimus (T. & G.) Cronq. is prevalent throughout our region and is distinguished by cauline leaves which are 3-12 mm wide and at least 12X longer than wide. Var. simplex is mainly e in our region and differs in having broader cauline leaves, mostly 1-3.5 cm wide and seldom over 11X longer than wide.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Section -- Aster puniceus L. -- Swamp aster
Return to Family -- Asteraceae - The Aster Family
Next Section -- Bidens bipinnata L. -- Spanish needles

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