Pale Aster (9)

Asters are distinguished from daisies by their bracts, which circle the under-side of the flower. Asters have bracts that overlap, like shingles. Daisies have bracts about the same length, like a fence. Asters bloom later in the summer than daisies. There are many asters. Their location, elevation, bracts and leaves differentiate them but it is still difficult to accurately identify them. Here are a few that are lavender compared to White Asters and Purple Asters.

Aster ascendens

Western Aster
Symphyotrichum ascendens (Aster ascendens)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Common Aster, Long-leaved Aster
Photo taken on: August 16, 2004
Location: Almont, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Meadows, roadsides

Grows to 30" in clumps with wiry, reddish stems. Basal leaves are up to 6 in. long and lance-shaped, withering as plant blooms; stem leaves are narrow and very short, Flowers are 1" across and pale violet with green and white bracts.

Flora of North America reference.

Herrickia glauca var. glauca

Gray Aster
Herrickia glauca var. glauca
(Eurybia glauca, Aster glaucodes, et. al.)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: July 28, 2004
Location: Almont, CO
Life Zones: Plains to foothills
Habitat: Moist areas, woodlands

Grows to over 2ft in colonies with gray-green, leaves that have smooth edges and can be from ¼" to 1" wide and 4 ½" long. Plants can have up 100 flower heads. arrow

Eucephalus glaucus

Herrickia glauca var. glauca


Photo taken on: August 5, 2007
Location: Cement Creek, GV, CO

Flowers are pale purple with 10-19 rays and yellow centers which turn purplish. Outer bracts are rounded and green, inner bracts are pointed and purplish.

Similar to Smooth Aster but the bracts differentiate.

Flora of North America reference.

Aster foliaceus

Leafy Aster
Symphyotrichum foliaceum (Aster foliaceus et. al.)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Leafybract Aster
Photo taken on: August 11, 2007
Location: Rustler Gulch, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Meadows, moist, open places

Grows from 3" to 3ft in clumps with 2" flowers and large leafy bracts. Leaves are broad and long and clasp the stems. Flowers can be white.

According to Flora of North America "Symphyotrichum foliaceum is extremely variable and is widespread in western montane coniferous forests and subalpine meadows" which is where I found them.

Aster falcatus

Cluster Aster
Symphyotrichum falcatum (Aster falcatus)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: White Prairie Aster
Photo taken on: July 25, 2007
Location: Almont, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to montane
Habitat: Meadows, roadsides

Grows to 2ft in patches with 1" wide white or pale blue flowers and long, soft, green leaves. Bracts are green and white.

Flora of North America reference.

Symphyotrichum laevis

Smooth Aster
Symphyotrichum laeve var. geyeri (Aster geyeri)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Smooth Blue Aster, Geyer's Aster
Photo taken on: September 1, 2013
Location: Wet Mountains, Eastern CO
Life Zones: Plains to montane
Habitat: Dry meadows, open forests

Grows to 2 ½ft with a stout, smooth stem and thick, firm, green or bluish-green leaves. Upper leaves clasp the stems. Leaves and stems are hairless. Clusters of 1" wide flowers grow in branches in the upper half with yellow centers turning purplish. Bracts are whitish with green tips.

Flora of North America reference.

Almutaster pauciflorus

Alkali Marsh Aster
Almutaster pauciflorus

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Marsh Alkali Aster, Few-flowered Aster
Photo taken on: September 7, 2013
Location: Rio Chama, Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Moist alkaline soil, river sides, ditches

Grows to 2ft with sparse narrow leaves. Flowers are ¾" across, very pale lavender and grow in a loose, branching cluster. Bracts are narrow and green.

Southern Salt Marsh Aster

Flora of North America reference.

Arida parviflora (Machaeranthera parviflora)

Small-flower Tansyaster
Arida parviflora (Machaeranthera parviflora)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: September 24, 2015
Location: CR 155, Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Sandy areas, roadsides, river margins, saline soils

Grows to less than 2ft with many branched, wiry stems. Leaves are no more than 1" long, are deeply divided and clasp the stem. They do not have a spiny tip like Tanseyleaf Tansyaster. Bracts are in 3-4 rows, are greenish and spreading. Flower heads are about ¾" across. Petals curl after flowering.

Arida parviflora

Flora of North America reference.

Symphyotrichum lanceolatum var. hesperium

Panicled Aster
Symphyotrichum lanceolatum var. hesperium (Aster hesperius)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Lance-leaved Aster, White Panicle Aster, Willow Aster
Photo below taken on: September 28, 2015
Location: Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Plains, foothills and montane
Habitat: Moist soils, meadows, ditches, stream banks

Grows to 3ft with narrow, lance-shaped leaves, up to 4" long. Withered leaves remain on the stem and curl. Flowers are about ¾" across and grow in loose, leafy clusters and can be white to pale lavender with yellow centers that turn reddish with age. Bracts are narrow, green and pale at the base.

Flora of North America reference.

Blue/Purple Single Flowers