Symphyotrichum boreale (Rush Aster) - photos and description






Stem leaf in above photo


With such slender stems, difficult to capture in a photo - stem hairs growing in lines from base of upper leaves

General: Stems puberulent, growing in lines from bases of upper leaves. Stems red.

Flowers: Flower heads few in an open corymb. The flower heads are white with yellow centres, the ray florets fade to pink when spent. Flower head measured to 23 mm wide. Involucre in 3 series, linear, sharp-tipped.

Leaves:  Leaves are cauline, entire, alternate, linear, sessile, and clasp the stem. We measured a leaf at 67 mm long and 4 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, I measured plants to 47 cm tall.

Habitat: Swamps and bogs in the parklands, boreal forest, and in the Cypress Hills.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

Synonyms: Listed in some of the guides we use as Aster junciformis, and, Aster borealis.

Similar species: This plant is similar to Symphyotrichum lanceolatum. To identify Symphyotrichum lanceolatum:
    - leaves > 5 mm in width
    - inflorescence many-headed, flower heads generally > 10 present
    - branching growth habit.

To identify Symphyotrichum boreale:
    - leaves uniform < 5 mm wide
    - inflorescence few headed, generally < 10 flower heads, inflorescence flat-topped
    - plants are few-branched.

When and where photographed: Above photos taken July 29th, swampy lakeshore, parklands, about 70 km south east of Regina, SK, and, July 31st, wet, mossy meadow, boreal forest, about 400 km north east of our home in Regina, SK.