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Southwest PA and adjacent WV and northwest MD to KY, TN, western GA and east-central AL, west to southeast MN, northeast IA, and northeast MS.
Herbaceous perennial from a short, branched caudex; stems 30-120 cm, more or less glabrous below, spreading-hirtellous above; leaves entire or sometimes few-toothed, glabrous or scaberulous above and spreading-hirtellous below, lanceolate or narrowly ovate, acute or acuminate, petiolate, most below the inflorescence cordate or subcordate, the lower cauline ones deeply cordate; basal leaves, if persistent, often shorter, broader, more rounded, and somewhat toothed; middle and upper cauline leaves only gradually reduced; inflorescence open, paniculiform, with many usually narrow bracts; peduncles usually very long and bracteate; involucre 4-6 mm; involucral bracts narrow, acute or the outer somewhat obtuse, well imbricate, usually minutely pubescent, with a small diamond-shaped green tip; rays 10-20, blue to rose-red or white, 5-14 mm.
Flowers August to October
Wetland Indicator: NA
Can be separated from similar heart-leaved asters by the nearly toothless leaves that are more or less glabrous above and the relatively large flower heads. I took these photographs many years ago in a woodland at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.
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