Pine Starwort - Bristly Aster
Ionactis linariifolius (Linnaeus) Greene
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family
The plant is an upright or sprawling hairy perennial terminated by several flower heads. Plant height is usually no more than 24 inches. Its preferred habitat is dry sandy woods, roadside embankments and rocky slopes. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are alternate on the stem, linear or narrowly lance-like, no teeth and no lobes, dark green in color and bristly to the touch. Leaves are usually no more than two cm in length but under certain conditions may reach a length of one inch.
Flowers are heads that measure about one inch in diameter; blue to violet in color with yellow disc flowers that turn bronze with age. Ray flowers are symmetrical in shape, blue to violet or occasionally dark lavender, pink or white; female. Disc flowers are bisexual. Flowering occurs in late summer and extends into autumn.
Fruit is a seed which outer layer is fused to it (achene).
The white variety of this plant is made up of heads whose flower petals are linear and few in number, usually no more than five and the plant appears to be in constant starvation.