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Montana Field Guides

Western Mountain Aster - Symphyotrichum spathulatum
Other Names:  Aster spathulatus, Aster occidentalis

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 5

External Links






 
General Description
Rhizomatous perennial. Stems erect to ascending, 15–60 cm. Herbage glabrate. Leaves basal and cauline, petiolate below; blades linear to lanceolate, 3–12 cm long, entire; the upper sessile and narrower. Inflorescence open-paniculate with few heads; peduncles glabrate to densely strigose. Involucre campanulate, 6–9 mm high; phyllaries linear-oblanceolate, imbricate, green with white bases, glabrous to ciliate. Rays 15 to 40, blue or violet; ligules 7–15 mm long. Disk flowers 30 to 80, yellow becoming purple; corollas 4–8 mm long. Achenes cylindric, 2–4 mm long, hairy (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety spathulatum.

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
BC, AB south to CA, UT and NM (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 507

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

Recency

 

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



Habitat
Wet meadows, thickets, fens, open forest; valleys to subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Ecology
POLLINATORS
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this species or genera where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus bifarius, Bombus borealis, Bombus centralis, Bombus fervidus, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus huntii, Bombus mixtus, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus sylvicola, Bombus ternarius, Bombus terricola, Bombus sitkensis, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus griseocollis, Bombus impatiens, Bombus insularis, Bombus suckleyi, Bombus bohemicus, and Bombus kirbiellus (Plath 1934, Heinrich 1976, Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014, Tripoldi and Szalanski 2015).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Plath, O.E. 1934. Bumblebees and their ways. New York, NY: Macmillan Company. 201 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Tripoldi, A.D. and A.L. Szalanski. 2015. The bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) of Arkansas, fifty years later. Journal of Melittology 50: doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17161/jom.v0i50.4834
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Dale, D. 1973. Effects of trail use under forests in the Madison Range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 96 pp.
    • Fultz, J.E. 2005. Effects of shelterwood management on flower-visiting insects and their floral resources. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 163 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
    • Zapatka, T.P. 1963. Some results of two limited hunting seasons on hen Pheasants in north central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 26 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Western Mountain Aster"
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Citation for data on this website:
Western Mountain Aster — Symphyotrichum spathulatum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from