Aster patens


Clasping aster, late purple aster and spreading aster are common names for Symphyotrichum aka Aster patens. It is a native herbaceous perennial in the sunflower family or Asteraceae. The leaves are simple, alternate and with pinnate major veins. The BRF (best recognizing feature) of this species is the base of the blade wrapped around the stem, often called amplexicaulis, perfoliate is similar but would be completely wrapped with the blade fused on the backside of the stem. The flowers are in heads and the heads are in loosely flowered panicles. Each head contains lavender ray flowers and yellow discs flowers. The fruit is an achene and the pappus is capillary bristles. A number of plants of this species on Allen Acres in the longleaf restoration area. Not a good candidate for cultivation as the flowers are spread out and not in mass like praealtus of yesterday. We saw several plants of this species yesterday during the plant id class. No caterpillar use of this species reported but caterpillars of three butterfly and 19 moth species are reported to use the genus.