Symphyotrichum patens (Aiton) G.L. Nesom - Late Purple Aster


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Symphyotrichum patens - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Asteraceae


Dry, rocky or sandy woods and open areas.




MA and southern NH to southern MI and KS, south to FL and TX.


Herbaceous perennial from a short caudex, also sometimes with creeping rhizomes; stems 20-150 cm, slender and brittle, shortly and loosely hairy; leaves hairy or scabrous at least beneath, sessile and cordate clasping, broadly ovate to oblong, entire, the lower soon deciduous; heads few to many in an open, divaricately branched inflorescence; involucre 5-9 mm; involucral bracts imbricate, mostly acute, glandular; rays 15-25(-30), blue or violet, sometimes pink, 8-15 mm.


Flowers  August to November

Wetland Indicator: NA

Symphyotrichum phlogifolium (Muhl. ex Willd.) G.L. Nesom is quite similar but has relatively thin leaves that are often constricted above the base and disk flowers white with purple lobes 1-1.5 mm (vs. yellow to white disk flowers that turn purplish and lobes 0.5-1 mm). The ray petals are often blue but the plants in the first three images from a population in southern NJ had striking violet rays.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018