Douglas's Aster - Symphyotrichum subspicatum
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
In Montana it is known to occur in three counties (Lesica 2012); however, there are some more recent observations which need to be verified. The species has a wide distribution, is morphologically variable, and research has shown it has evolved from hybridization among several species of Symphyotrichum (Allen 1984). As a result this species is unrankable until further data is available.
Plants: Colonial perennial with long rhizomes, and 1-5 upright to ascending stems 40-120 cm in height. Herbage smooth below (FNA 2006), glabrate to sparsely puberulent above (Lesica 2012), seldom thickly hirsute (FNA 2006), with hairs running mostly in lines from bases of leaves (Dorn 1984).
Leaves: Petiolate below, becoming sessile above; basal and proximal cauline blades 5-15 cm long, 3-25 mm wide, upper leaves 3-10 cm long (occasionally to 13 cm), 3-15 mm wide (occasionally to 30 mm) (FNA 2006); blades narrowly lanceolate to oblanceolate; margins entire to serrate (Lesica 2012); bases attenuate below, becoming rounded, cuneate or occasionally somewhat auriculate above; basal and proximal cauline leaves withering by anthesis (FNA 2006).
Inflorescence & Heads: Open-paniculate (Lesica 2012) or open racemiform or corymbiform arrangements (FNA 2006) with few to several heads; peduncles sparsely strigose; involucre campanulate, 5–10 mm high; phyllaries imbricate, green with yellowish bases, glabrous, oblanceolate (Lesica 2012) to linear, organized in 4-6 series, the inner phyllaries slightly longer or about equal to the outer ones (FNA 2006).(Lesica’s contribution adapted from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
Flowers July-September (FNA 2006).
S. subspicatum is a wholly polyploid species, and has probably descended from a mix of species, including S. chilense, S. foliaceum, and other Symphyotrichum species (Allen 1984).
AK, BC and AB, s to CA, ID and MT (FNA 2006).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Marshlands, brushy areas, disturbed meadows and open areas (FNA 2006), streambanks, wetlands, valleys, montane (Lesica 2012).(Lesica’s contribution from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
Flowers: Rays 15 to 45, violet (Lesica 2012), the expanded part of the blade 8- (Lesica 2012) or 10-20 mm in length (FNA 2006); disk flowers 50 to 75, yellow; corollas 4–7 mm in length (Lesica 2012).
Fruit: Achenes cylindric, 2–4 mm long, hairy (Lesica 2012), brown or somewhat purple, not flattened, with 3-6 nerves; pappus nearly white to light brown or slightly reddish (FNA 2006).(Lesica’s contribution adapted from Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX.)
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Dorn, R. D. 1984. Vascular Plants of Montana. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 276 pp.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 20. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 7: Asteraceae, part 2. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxii + 666 pp.
- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Morphological and Cytological Variation in the Western North American Aster occidentalis Complex (Asteraceae)Allen, G.A. 1984. Morphological and Cytological Variation in the Western North American Aster occidentalis Complex (Asteraceae). Systematic Botany 9(2):175-191.