E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Symphyotrichum spathulatum (Lindl.) G.L. Nesom
western mountain aster
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Paul Handford  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #68744)

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Distribution of Symphyotrichum spathulatum
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Species Information

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General:
Perennial herb from a fibrous-rooted, creeping rhizome; stems ascending to erect, branched above, glabrous to slightly hairy; 0.2-1.0 m tall.
Leaves:
Basal leaves soon deciduous; stem leaves oblanceolate and stalked below, linear or lanceolate and unstalked above, 3-15 cm long, 3-13 mm wide, mostly 7-10 times as long as wide, mostly glabrous, entire.
Flowers:
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary to many in an open, round-topped inflorescence; involucres 5-7 mm tall; involucral bracts scarcely to evidently graduated, linear to linear-oblong, abruptly sharp-pointed, rarely obtuse, glabrous, margins fringed with small hairs, often green to the base, infrequently minutely purple-tipped; ray flowers 20-50, blue to violet or purple, 6-15 mm long; disk flowers yellow.
Fruits:
Achenes obscurely nerved, hairy; pappus whitish.
Notes:
Two fairly distinct varieties occur in our region and may be separated as follows:

1. Heads solitary or several in a sparsely leafy, few-branched inflorescence; leaves linear.......................... var. occidentalis

1. Heads numerous in a leafy, much-branched inflorescence; leaves lanceolate........................... var. intermedius A. Gray

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic meadows and open forests in the lowland and montane zones; both varieties frequent in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains and S of 55degreeN, var. occidentalis also infrequent on S Vancouver Island and the mainland coast; N to NT, and S to CO and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References