A Symphyotrichum Lateriflorum

A Symphyotrichum Lateriflorum

Symphyotrichum Lateriflorum

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (/ËŒsɪmfaɪəˈtrɪkÉ™m ËŒlætÉ™rʌˈflɔːrÉ™m/; formerly Aster lateriflorus) is a species of flowering plant in the aster family (Asteraceae). Commonly known as calico aster, starved aster, and white woodland aster, it is native to eastern and central North America. It is a perennial and herbaceous plant that may reach heights up to 120 centimeters (4 feet) and widths up to 30 cm (1 ft).Symphyotrichum lateriflorum is a late-summer and fall blooming perennial, the flower heads opening as early as July in some locations and as late as October in others. The flower heads grow in much-branched arrays (called panicles), are racemose, and generally stay on the upper sides of their stalks, called peduncles.


The flowers of calico aster are small compared to most Symphyotrichum species. They have an average of 7–15 short white ray florets, which are rarely tinted pink or purple. The flower centers, composed of disk florets, begin as cream to yellow and often become pink, purple, or brown as they mature. There are roughly 8–16 disk florets, each with five lobes that strongly reflex (bend backwards) when open. The mostly hairless leaves have a characteristic hairy midrib on their back faces, and branching is usually horizontal or in what can appear to be a zigzag pattern. Flower heads grow along one side of the branches and sometimes in clusters at the ends.Symphyotrichum lateriflorum is a conservationally secure species and grows in a variety of habitats. It can be found throughout most of the eastern and east-central United States and Canada. There is also a native population in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.

Its late-summer and fall appearing flowers are visited by small pollinators and nectar-seeking insects such as sweat bees, miner bees, and hoverflies. As well as occurring naturally in several varieties, S. lateriflorum has multiple cultivars and has been grown for at least 250 years in Europe. Some modern-day cultivars are 'Bleke Bet', 'Lady in Black', and 'Prince'. It has been used by indigenous Americans as a medicinal plant.Symphyotrichum lateriflorum var. spatelliforme (E.S.Burgess) G.L.Nesom was described by Burgess in 1903 as species Aster spatelliformis, making it the basionym of this variety. Burgess' protologue primarily focused on leaf characteristics which he said were how it differed from A. lateriflorus. Leaves were described, in part, as small, rounded, and spatulate-shaped, with fine, reticulate veins and a short wedge-shaped base. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)



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