Heath Aster
(Lavender Oldfield Aster - Price's Aster - Hairy Aster - Soft Aster)
Aster pilosus (Wild.) var. priceae
Syn: Symphyotrichum priceae
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

The plant is an upright, smooth to hairy perennial with an underground stem from which new growth emerges. Its preferred habitat is moist grounds, fields and flood plains. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are alternate on the stem, smooth and downy, nearly clasping the stem. The form is ovate or lance-like, and may be long or short pointed. The base is attenuate (gradually narrows). The leaf margins may be smooth or slightly toothed.

The flowers are a panicle, bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The disc flowers are all yellow. Ray flowers are white and female only. It is not unusual to see an occasional plant bearing pale blue flowers. This phenomena is due to extensive hybridizing within the species. Flowers occur in the summer and autumn.

Fruit is achene (a seed which outer layer is fused to it).

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