Symphyotrichum dumosum (Aster dumosus) bush aster  Asteraceae  ASDU; NY, bl (Stalter and Tang 2002); Q, j (Stalter and Lamont 2002); R (DeCandido 2001);

Aster dumosus.Janet

Aster dumosus.© 2000 Janet Novak.fairfax County  public

Symphyotrichum dumosum is a perennial 30-100 cm tall, somewhat colonial from creeping rhizomes.

Leaves alternate, mostly stalkless, larger stems leaves linear to lance-shaped 3-11 cm long, 0.3-1 cm wide, leaves of branches much smaller, becoming small numerous, oblong bracts on flowering branches.

Flowers in small, daisy-like heads, rays pale lavender, bluish or white, 13-30, 0.5-0.9 cm long, disk flowers pale yellow to brownish, heads numerous, about 0.5 cm tall, basal bracts overlapping (see Asteraceae), tips green, the outermost merging with bracts of flower stalks, those to 2 cm long (or more); blooming and fruiting Aug.-Oct.

Fruit dry, 1-seeded, achene, with tuft of hairs (pappus), wind dispersed.

Wetland status: UPL.

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.

Origin: Native.

Habitat: Dry to moist sandy habitats, thickets. A coastal plain species.

Notes: Host to larvae of the pearly crescent butterfly, Phycoides tharos (Nymphalidae), (Tallamy 2003; Pyle 1981).