Asters are distinguished from Daisies by their phyllaries, which circle the under-side of the flower. Asters have phyllaries that overlap, like shingles. Daisies have phyllaries about the same length, like a fence. Asters bloom later in the summer than daisies. There are many asters. Here are a few. See also Pale Asters and Purple Asters.

Aster porteri

Porter's Aster
Symphyotrichum porteri (Aster porteri)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Smooth White Aster
Photo taken on: August 1, 2008
Location: Almont, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Open fields and roadsides

Grows to 18" with wiry stems and smooth, narrow, bright green leaves. Flowers are small, to ¾" across. The bracts are three-tiered, green, and spread out from the base.

Flora of North America reference.

Aster ericoides

White Heath Aster
Symphyotrichum ericoides (Aster ericoides)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Many-flowered Aster
Photo taken on: September 29, 2008
Location: Wet Mountains, Eastern CO
Life Zones: Plains to foothills
Habitat: Dry to moist soil, roadsides

Grows to 3ft with twisted woody stems. The leaves are narrow and pointed as in heaths. The centers of the flower heads turn reddish-brown with age. Flowers grow in a cylindrical spike or a one-sided cluster. Bracts are green and hairy and curve out.

Symphyotrichum ericoides

Flora of North America reference.

Aster engelmanii

Engelmann's Aster
Eucephalus engelmannii (Aster engelmannii)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
Photo taken on: August 14, 2004
Location: Copley Lake Trail, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane to subalpine
Habitat: Open woods

Grows to 5ft tall, often under Engelmann Spruce trees.arrow

Aster engelmanii



Flowers are 2" across and have a few twisted petals. The bracts are broad with purple edges.

Photo taken on: August 12, 2007
Location: Poverty Gulch, GV, CO

Aster foliaceus

Leafy Aster
Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. parryi (Aster foliaceus)

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

Grows from 3" to 3ft high in clumps with 2" flowers. Flowers range from white to lavender.arrow

Aster foliaceus

Large leafy bracts identify this Aster. The pointed tips identify it as var. Parryi. The leaves growing from the stem are broad and long.

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.

White/Cream Single Flowers | White/Cream Round Clusters