Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Aster puniceus L.
ASTERACEAE (Composite Family)
EtymologyAster is Greek for star; puniceus is Latin for reddish-purple.
Synonyms (Common Name)Swamp Aster, Frost Flower, Starwort
DescriptionA medium to tall perennial herb, purple-stemmed aster grows 2-8' high. The stout, bristly stem is often purple or reddish, giving the plant its name. (However, stems may also be smooth and green.) The daisy-like flowers are usually blue or light violet, rarely white or pink.
Wetland indicator statusOBL
Plant Height2-8 feet
LeavesAlternate, simple, toothed (occasionally entire); to 6 1/2" long; lanceolate to elliptical, rough; leaves clasp the stem.
Flower/InflorescenceBlue to light violet (pink or white), daisy-like, 1 - 1 1/2" wide; 30 - 60 narrow ray flowers surround central yellow disc flowers; bracts under flower heads are linear and narrow; several flower heads in terminal inflorescence.
Flowering PeriodAugust-November
FruitAchene, small.
HabitatWet woods, swamps, marshes, moist places.
RangeNewfoundland to Saskatchewan, south to Nebraska, Illinois, Georgia and Alabama.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett