Prairie Aster
(Barrens Silky Aster; Southern Prairie Aster; Prairie Wood Aster; Southern Aster)
Eurybia hemispherica, Syn: Symphyotrichum pratense
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Plant is an upright, smooth to hairy perennial with a rhizome from which new growth emerges. Preferred habitat is dry open woods, prairies (rarely roadside), and old fields. Distribution is throughout the Escambia range.

Leaves are alternate on the stem, consisting of one whole part, more or less clasping, lance-like to oblong, no teeth and no lobes and tapers to the tip with sides less than equal. Leaves are about 1/4 inch on the upper stem, but may be as much as two inches on the lower stem; may have a very short leaf stalk.

Flowers are clustered at the end of the flowering stem; symmetrical in shape. Disc flowers are bisexual and yellow. Ray flowers are female, numerous and pale blue to violet. Flowers occur in late summer and early autumn.

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

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