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White Prairie Aster

Symphyotrichum falcatum (Lindl.) G. L. Nesom

Comments

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Symphyotrichum falcatum is introduced in Ontario and Illinois. It may closely resemble S. ericoides, which has smaller heads with fewer florets in denser arrays. The two can be difficult to distinguish on the Great Plains. A. G. Jones (1978) recognized two subspecies of S. falcatum, one with two varieties. Those two subspecies are treated as varieties here.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 20: 467, 472, 483, 495, 496, 538 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Description

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Perennials 10–80 cm (colonial or cespitose, eglandular; with branched rhizomes or with ± cormoid, branched, woody cau­dices. Stems 1–5+, ascending to erect (grayish brown to brown), moderately to densely hairy. Leaves (light grayish green) firm, margins entire, strigose, apices ± spine-tipped; basal withering by flowering, sessile, blades oblanceolate, 10–40 × 3–10 mm, bases attenuate, margins usually entire, rarely remotely serrate, scabrous, apices acute to obtuse, rounded to mucronulate-spinose, faces glabrate to moderately strigose; proximal cauline sessile, blades linear oblanceolate to oblong, 10–40(–60) × 1.5–4(–7) mm, reduced distally, bases cuneate, margins entire, coarsely ciliate, apices acute or obtuse, faces sparsely to densely appressed hispido-strigose; distal sessile, blades linear-oblong to linear-lanceolate, 25–45 × 2–3 mm, bases cuneate, margins entire, apices acute, faces moderately to densely strigose. Heads [(1–)10–200+] in racemiform to diffuse-paniculiform arrays (1–10+ per branch, usually not crowded). Peduncles 0.2–4 cm, densely hairy, bracts 1–3+, linear to lanceolate, densely hairy. Involucres campanulate, (4.5–)5–8 mm. Phyllaries in 3–4 series, outer oblanceolate to spatulate (1.5–2 mm), inner linear-lanceolate (3–4 mm), unequal, bases (whitish to tan) ± indurate in basal 1 / 2 – 3 / 4 , margins hyaline, scabrous proximally, green zones diamond-shaped, in distal 1 / 4 – 1 / 2 , apices (outer) acute to obtuse, clear spine-tipped, spreading to reflexed, (inner) acuminate to attenuate, faces sparsely to moderately hispid-strigose. Ray florets (15–)20–35; corollas usually white, sometimes blue or pink, laminae (8–)18–30 × 1.1–1.4 mm. Disc florets (8–)18–30; corollas yellow becoming brown, 2–2.5 mm, lobes triangular, 0.7–1.2 mm, glabrous. Cypselae dark brown, obovoid, not compressed, 2–2.5 mm, faint-nerved, faces densely strigose; pappi whitish, 4.5–6 mm.
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 20: 467, 472, 483, 495, 496, 538 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
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eFloras

Synonym

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Aster falcatus Lindley in W. J. Hooker, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 12. 1834; Lasallea falcatus (Lindley) Semple & Brouillet; Virgulus falcatus (Lindley) Reveal & Keener
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 20: 467, 472, 483, 495, 496, 538 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Symphyotrichum falcatum

provided by wikipedia EN

Symphyotrichum falcatum (formerly Aster falcatus) is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. Commonly called white prairie aster and western heath aster,[5] it is native to a widespread area of central and western North America.

Description

White prairie aster blooms July–November depending on variety and location. It is colonial or cespitose and grows 10–80 centimeters (4–31 inches) tall. It has hairy stems and hairy, grayish-green and firm entire leaves.[6]

On the outside of the flower heads of all members of the family Asteraceae are small specialized leaves called "phyllaries", and together they form the involucre that protects the individual flowers in the head before they open.[a][7] The involucres of S. falcatum are campanulate (bell-shaped) and usually 5–8 mm (1438 in) long. The outer phyllaries are spreading to reflexed (bent sharply backwards) and oblanceolate to spatulate in shape. The inner phyllaries are linear-lanceolate. They are in 3–4 unequal rows, meaning they are staggered and do not end at the same point.[6]

The flower heads have 15–35 usually white ray florets, sometimes blue or pink, that are typically 18–30 millimeters (341+18 inches) long. These surround a center of roughly the same number of disk florets that start as yellow and become brown with age.[6]

Chromosomes

Symphyotrichum falcatum has a base number of x = 5.[8] Diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid cytotypes with respective chromosome counts of 10, 20, and 30 have been reported, depending upon the infraspecies, as follows:

  • S. spathulatum var. falcatum: 2n = 2x = 10, 2n = 4x = 20, and 2n = 6x = 30.[9]
  • S. spathulatum var. commutatum: 2n = 6x = 30.[3]

Taxonomy

Symphyotrichum falcatum is one of the two species within Symphyotrichum sect. Ericoidei. The other is S. ericoides.[10] The species was first formally described by John Lindley in 1834 as Aster falcatus.[11]

Two varieties are recognized:

  • S. falcatum var. falcatum, cespitose with up to ten stems from caudices,[6] and known commonly as white prairie aster, western heath aster, creeping white prairie aster, falcate aster, and little grey aster.[12]
  • S. falcatum var. commutatum, communal with stems growing from rhizomes.[6] Common names of this variety include white prairie aster, western heath aster, and little grey aster, as well as cluster aster.[13]

S. falcatum is one of the parents of the two allopolyploidal Symphyotrichum species S. ascendens[14] and S. defoliatum.[8]

Distribution and habitat

S. falcatum var. falcatum is native from Alaska, Yukon, and Northwest Territories in the north, western Canada from British Columbia to Manitoba, in the United States from Idaho east to Minnesota, west to Wyoming and south to New Mexico and Arizona, then north to Utah. It is also native to northern Mexico.[2]

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S. falcatum in a meadow.

S. falcatum var. commutatum has no subarctic presence, extends farther east into Ontario, the South Central and upper Midwestern United States, and farther south in Mexico.[4]

Conservation

NatureServe lists it as Secure (G5) worldwide, Critically Imperiled (S1) in Alaska, Imperiled (S2) in Manitoba, Vulnerable (S3) in Yukon, and Possibly Extirpated (SH) in Iowa. It is an exotic species in Ontario, Missouri, and Massachusetts.[1]

Uses

The Zuni people call S. falcatum var. commutatum by the name ha'mopiawe and mix the ground blossoms with yucca suds to wash newborn infants.[15] Quoting American ethnologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson:

The blossoms, ground to a fine meal, are sprinkled into a bowl of yucca suds used for bathing a new-born infant. This medicine is said to make the hair grow on the head and to give strength to the body. The remedy belongs to all women.[15]

The Ramah Navajo use the plant in a decoction to make a lotion as a remedy for snake bites.[16]

Notes

  1. ^ See Asteracae § Flowers for more detail.

Citations

References

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Symphyotrichum falcatum: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Symphyotrichum falcatum (formerly Aster falcatus) is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. Commonly called white prairie aster and western heath aster, it is native to a widespread area of central and western North America.

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Wikipedia authors and editors
original
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wikipedia EN