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FutureStarrBig Leaved Asteror
Big-Leaved Aster gets its common name from its large, heart-shaped foliage, which has coarse-toothed edges reaching 8" across.. It's often planted for these large leaves as a shaded ground cover rather than for the sometimes sparse fall flowers. The flowering stems reach one to two feet in height, topped by blossoms with 9 to 20 thin, white-violet rays surrounding a yellow center. Eurybia macrophylla is common to northern woodlands, where it often forms a dense ground cover, spreading by rhizomes.
Large-leaved Aster, formerly Aster macrophyllus, is a common sight in Minnesota's woodlands and forests, the tell-tale carpet of large, heart-shaped basal leaves seen in early to mid summer a sign of things to come. The large lower and basal leaves are the most recognizable characteristic, particularly the density of any given population, and distinguish this from other blue-flowered asters that may be found in woodland habitats.Big Leaf Aster (Aster macrophyllus) is perfect for shady areas with less than perfect soil. Drought tolerant, it thrives in both dry sand and heavy clay soils that possess a modicum of organic matter. Big Leaf Aster is often planted for its large, heart-shaped basal foliage which forms a nice ground cover. Upright stems emerge from the base in late summer, bearing clusters of delicate, bluish-white rayed flowers, fromAugust thru September. Great for stabilizing shaded hillsides and slopes, it spreads by rhizomes to form a ground cover. Aster macrophyllus is a host plant for the Pearl Crescent Butterfly.
Faunal Associations: The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract a large variety of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, beetles, and plant bugs. An oligolectic Andrenid bee, Andrena hirticincta, has been observed visiting the flowerheads of Big-Leaved Aster (see Graenicher). Other insects feed on the foliage and flowers, suck plant juices, or bore through the stems and roots of this aster and others. Examples of such insect feeders include caterpillars of the butterflies Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot) and Phyciodes tharos (Pearl Crescent); also the caterpillars of Carmenta corni (Aster Borer Moth), Cucullia asteroides (The Asteroid), Schinia arcigera (Arcigera Flower Moth), and other moths feed on asters (see Moth Table). Other insects feeders include the larvae of Calycomyza humeralis (Aster Leafminer Fly), several aphids (mostly Uroleucon spp.), Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Aster Leafhopper), the lace bugs Corythucha marmorata and Galeata spinifrons, the leaf beetles Exema canadensis and Ophraella pilosa, the plant bug Plagiognathus cuneatus, and others (see Insect Table for a more complete listing of species). Some vertebrate animals use asters as a food source. The Ruffed Grouse and Wild Turkey eat the seeds and foliage, while the White-Tailed Deer and Cottontail Rabbit sometimes browse on the foliage. The foliage is also edible to cattle, sheep, and other domesticated farm animals.largeleaf aster or bigleaf wood aster, is an herbaceous perennial in the composite family that was formerly treated in the genus Aster. It is native to eastern North America, with a range extending from eastern and central Canada (from Nova Scotia to Manitoba) through the northeastern deciduous and mixed forests of New England and the Great Lakes region and south along the Appalachians as far as the northeastern corner of Georgia, and west as far as Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)