Gray Aster - Eurybia glauca
Aster glaucodes, Herrickia glauca
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details.
- Details on Status Ranking and Review
Score1 - Moderate: Generally 10,000-100,000 individuals.
CommentPopulation size is unknown for Montana, but due to its limited distribution is estimated to be <100,000 plants.
Score3 - Local Endemic or Very Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <10,000 sq. miles (equivalent to the combined area of Phillips and Valley Counties) or <6 Sub-basins (4th code watersheds) Range-wide OR limited to one Sub-basin in Montana
CommentIn Montana, the species is known from Carbon County, though may also occur in Big Horn County.
Area of Occupancy
Score1 - Moderate: Generally occurring in 11-25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).
Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).
ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.
CommentTrends are unknown, though habitat is generally stable and populations have probably not declined significantly.
Score0-1 - Low to Medium.
CommentThreats to the species' viability appear to be insignificant to low.
Score0 - Low Vulnerability: Species does not have any unusual or specific life history or biological attributes or limted reproductive potential which makes it susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and thus slow to recover.
CommentNo specific factors are known which are believed to increase the species' vulnerability.
Raw Conservation Status Score
6 to 7 total points scored out of a possible 16 (Rarity factors and threats only).
Gray Aster is a perennial with simple or branched, mostly hairless stems that are 20-70 cm tall, and arise from rhizomes with many stems forming colonies. There are numerous alternate, stalkless, entire margined leaves that are 4-12 cm long by 0.5-2.5 cm wide and are hairless and glaucous. The lowermost leaves are smaller and scale-like. The flowers are borne in several to many composite heads of ray and disk flowers surrounded by an involucre of bracts borne on spreading branches. The involucre is 6-9 mm high and is composed of several series of overlapping bracts; the outer bracts are broad and firm, and the inner bracts are narrower and longer and often have purplish tinged midribs. The 8-19 strap-shaped rays are pale lavender and 8-18 mm long by 1-2 mm wide. The disk is 7-12 mm in diameter and consists of numerous flowers with tubular corollas that are shorter than the rays. The bases of both ray and disk corollas are encircled by a pappus of slender white bristles. Achenes are hairless or sparsely short-hairy near their tip.
Flowering in August.
It is distinguished from other similar species previously classified in Aster in Montana by the combination of the rhizomatous perennial habit, glabrous stems and glaucous leaves, and an involucre of broad stiff bracts that are green only on the midrib and tip.
In Carbon County MT, south to AZ and NM (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
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)
Limestone outcrops and shallow soils with limestone parent material.
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans
, Bombus ternarius
, and Bombus terricola
(Colla and Dumesh 2010).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- 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.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
- Lesica, P., P. Husby, and S. V. Cooper. 1998. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 45:328-330.