Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Lava Aster - Ionactis alpina
Other Names:  Aster scopulorum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Numerous collections from a large number of counties in western Montana. This plants high elevation habitat is probably currently secure. Regionally endemic.
General Description
Perennial from a branched caudex. Stems sterile and fertile, erect, 4–15 cm. Herbage scabrous with pubescent to tomentose stems. Leaves cauline sessile, lanceolate to oblanceolate, entire, 3–12 mm long. Inflorescence a solitary head; peduncles villous. Involucre turbinate, 7–11 mm high; phyllaries linear, villous, glandular, keeled, scarious-margined. Rays 7 to 21, blue; ligules 6–15 mm long. Disk flowers yellow; corolla 5–7 mm long. Pappus in 2 series. Achenes linear-obovoid, 5–6 mm long, sericeous (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
OR to MT south to CA, NV and UT (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 66

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sagebrush steppe, dry grasslands, often in sandy soil; valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Britton, M. P. 1955. An ecological study of a relict grassland and an adjacent grazed pasture in Beaverhead Valley, Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 23 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Lava Aster"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Lava Aster — Ionactis alpina.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from