Aster azureus Lindl. - Blue Aster
Family - Asteraceae
Stems - To 1m tall, glabrous to hispidulous, single from the base, typically simple in the lower 1/2, terete, erect, herbaceous.
Leaves - Alternate. Basal leaves long petiolate, the petiole to +15cm long. Blades of basal leaves cordate to truncate or abruptly narrowed at base, very scabrous above and below, to 10cm long, 7cm wide. Middle and upper cauline leaves greatly reduced as compared to basal leaves, 2-10mm broad, sessile, appearing as linear bracts near inflorescence.
Inflorescence - Loosely paniculate, open, many flowered(+75) but the flowers opening at different times.
Involucre - 4.5-7mm tall (long), cylindric. Phyllaries imbricate, lanceolate, appressed, mostly whitish with distinct rhombic green tips, margins minutely ciliolate.
Ray flowers - Ligules blue, to 9mm long, typically +/- 15 per flower head.
Disk flowers - Disk 4-5mm broad. Corollas yellow, small, 15-30 per head. Achenes glabrous, +/-1mm long. Pappus of capillary bristles, +2.5mm long.
Flowering - September - October.
Habitat - Open woods, prairies, pastures, glades, roadsides.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This little but showy species can be found scattered throughout much of Missouri. Steyermark wrote, however, that it is found in less than half the counties in the state.
Photographed in Eminence, MO., 9-21-03.