AZURE ASTER
File Size: 77 KB
 
Symphyotrichum oolentangiense   (Riddell ) G.L. Nesom
[=Aster oolentangiensis Riddell]
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 8 - 40 inches
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   September,October
Also Called: Sky-blue aster.
Stems: Erect, glabrous or minutely pubescent to rough-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to ovate, 1.2 to 4 inches long, up to 2.8 inches wide; surfaces rough-hairy, sandpaper-like; margins entire or weakly toothed; tips pointed; stalks 1 to 5 inches long, winged; basal leaves with heart-shaped bases; lower stem leaves abruptly contracted to tapering at the base; middle and upper stem leaves smaller, narrower, short-stalked; leaves on head-bearing branches reduced to scale-like sessile bracts.
Inflorescences: Panicle-like; branches ascending or spreading; heads 20 to 150, mostly near branch tips.
Flowers: .5 to 1 inch wide; involucral bracts overlapping in 3-5 series, lanceolate, pressed flat, margins fringed, white base, diamond-shaped green tip; ray florets 10-25, ligule blue to bluish-violet, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long; disk florets 15-30, corollas yellow, turning purple with age.
Fruits: Achenes, tiny, mostly glabrous; pappus white hair-like bristles.
Habitat: Edges of woods, in open woods and prairies, and along roadsides; dry, sandy or rocky sites.
Distribution: East third of Kansas.
Comments: Azure aster is somewhat shrubby.

Azure aster
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Azure aster
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Azure aster
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Azure aster bracts
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Azure aster leaves
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Azure aster leaves
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas