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A Purple Stemmed Aster

A Purple Stemmed Aster

Purple Stemmed Aster

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A bright purple, straw-like stem makes this plant a perfect candidate for increased irrigation with its extra long, thin roots it can soak up a lot of water from the ground in a short period of time.Brouillet, L.; Semple, J.C.; Allen, G.A.; Chambers, K.L.; Sundberg, S.D. (2006a). "Symphyotrichum puniceum". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). Vol. 20. New York and Oxford. Retrieved 5 July 2021 – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. Brouillet, L.; Semple, J.C.; Allen, G.A.; Chambers, K.L.; Sundberg, S.D. (2006b). "Symphyotrichum puniceum var. scabricaule". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). Vol. 20. New York and Oxford. Retrieved 15 July 2021 – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Aster

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Notes: Purplestem Aster is indigenous to the Garden. Eloise Butler noted it in her Garden Log on Sept. 7, 1907, using the older name of Aster puniceus. An early reference to this plant in the Garden was contained in Eloise Butler's entry in the 33rd Report of the Board of Park Commissioners for 1915. She listed 19 asters as present in the Garden and two were of the Red-stemmed type. She noted them in bloom in 1914 and noted planting a white flowered version in 1917 that she collected within Glenwood Park (which partially surrounded the Garden and is now named Theodore Wirth Park). Another was added in 1932. Using the botanical name current at that time she listed them as Aster puniceus. She wrote: "Aster puniceus, the red-stemmed swamp aster, is nearly as showy as A. novae-angliae. The typical plants, tall and bushy, their flowers with narrow rays, deep blue or pale, or even white, with orange discs, look as if studded with stars." Purplestem Aster was listed on Martha Crone's 1951 inventory of plants in the Garden at that time and presumably has been in the Garden all this time. As this plant prefers moist soil, it is plant is native to most of Minnesota except counties in the drier west and SW. The plants range is generally from Minnesota east to the coast and most of subarctic Canada. It is endangered in several eastern states.

The nectar and pollen of the flowerheads attract a wide variety of insects, including honeybees, bumblebees, other miscellaneous bees, various wasps, bee flies and other miscellaneous flies, and various butterflies, skippers, and moths. The oligolectic bees, Andrena asteris and Andrena hirticincta, suck nectar and collect pollen from the flowerheads of Swamp Aster. Other insects feed on the foliage, suck plant juices, bore through the stalks and roots, or gnaw on the flowers and developing seeds of Symphyotrichum spp. (asters). These species include Microrhopala xerene and other leaf beetles, several aphids (mostly Uroleucon spp.), the stinkbug Trichopepla semivittata, the leafhopper Macrosteles quadrilineatus, the plant bug Plagiognathus cuneatus, Poecilocapsus lineatus (Four-Lined Plant Bug), Lygus lineolaris (Tarnished Plant Bug), and the larvae of Calycomyza humeralis (Aster Leafminer Fly). In addition to these insects, a large number of moth caterpillars feed on asters (see the Moth Table for a listing of these species), as do the caterpillars of the butterflies Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot) and Phyciodes tharos (Pearl Crescent). Among vertebrate animals, the Wild Turkey eats the seeds and leaves occasionally, while the White-Tailed Deer and Cottontail Rabbit browse on the foliage. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

 

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