Leafy-bracted Aster - Symphyotrichum foliaceum
MNPS Threat Rank
Rhizomatous perennial. Stems ascending to erect, 6–80 cm. Herbage glabrate, sparsely hairy on stems. Leaves basal (often deciduous) and cauline; blades ovate to lanceolate, 2–15 cm long, entire; the lower with broad petioles, sometimes sessile and clasping above. Inflorescence leafy paniculate with 1 to several heads; peduncles glabrous, puberulent or villous. Involucre campanulate, 6–15 mm high; phyllaries: outer lanceolate to oblanceolate, green, white-margined, sometimes foliaceous; inner narrower. Rays 15 to 60, blue or violet; ligules 6–18 mm long. Disk flowers 50 to 150, yellow; corollas 4–7 mm long. Achenes cylindric, 2–4 mm long, hairy (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
The three varieties in Montana include foliaceum, apricum
(A. Gray) G.L. Nesom, and parryi
(D.C. Eaton) G.L. Nesom. Lesica (2012) also treats S. cusickii
(A. Gray) P. Lesica (ined.) as a variety of this species.
Moist areas across a wide elevational range (Hitchcock & Cronquist 1973; Dorn 1984) (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)