ASymphyotrichum Oolentangiense

ASymphyotrichum Oolentangiense


ASymphyotrichum Oolentangiense

Names: That strange species name, oolentangiense, refers to the Oolentangy River in Ohio where Riddell, who named the plant, found the species in 1835. Its former scientific name was Aster oolentangiensis Riddell. Another older name, but the most descriptive, is Aster azureus, which species name means 'sky-blue'. However, all the new world asters, formerly in the genus Aster, have now been reclassified, most into the genus Symphyotrichum. That genus name is from the Greek symphysis, for 'junction', and 'trichos', for hair and, while obscure, it was first applied by Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck in the 1800s in describing the type aster for the genus.


Symphyotrichum oolentangiense (Riddell) Nesom is native to open, dry, sandy, loamy, or rocky soils, dry to wet (seasonally drying) prairies, alvars, glades, bluffs, dunes, barrens, open deciduous woods, oak and/or pine savannahs in eastern North America (Brouillet et al. 2006; FNA). The species was known as Aster azureus Lindley for a long time but the name Aster oolentangiensis Riddell is slightly older and has nomenclatural priority.Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

A Prairie Moon • November 6 Asters in general will dump a lot of seeds when they are healthy, so the potential is always there for many seedlings. The seeds are wind dispersed so they may or may not settle in the area around the mother plants. Many factors contribute to the number of successful seedlings, such as how open the area is for new seeds to colonize. The native Sky Blue Aster occurs occasionally in the northern and western halves of Illinois, but it is uncommon or absent elsewhere (see Distribution Map). Habitats include mesic to dry prairies, sand prairies, hill prairies, rocky upland woodlands, upland savannas, upland sandy savannas, woodland borders, sandy meadows, limestone glades, and roadside embankments. This plant is usually found in higher quality natural areas where the original ground flora is still intact. Occasional wildfires or other disturbance that reduce competition from woody vegetation is beneficial in maintaining populations of this plant. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)





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