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

Eucephalus engelmannii (D.C. Eaton) Greene
Engelmann's aster
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Steve Ansell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76245)

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Distribution of Eucephalus engelmannii
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a fibrous-rooted rhizome or branched, woody stem-base; stems erect, branched above, glandular or sparsely long-hairy to glabrous, 0.5-1.5 m tall.
Basal leaves reduced and scalelike below; stem leaves numerous and nearly alike, lanceolate or elliptic to egg-shaped, unstalked, entire or nearly so, closely reticulate, subglabrous or sometimes glandular or somewhat hairy below, 5-10 cm long, 1.5-3.5 cm wide.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, few to many in a rounded inflorescence; involucres 8-12 mm tall; involucral bracts graduated with a strong midvein, tending to be keeled, linear to lanceolate, with long-pointed tips or the inner abruptly sharp-pointed, papery below, greenish above, the inner purple-margined and marginally fringed with long hairs; ray flowers commonly 13, sometimes only 8, white, often pink with age, sometimes mauve, 15-25 mm long; disk flowers yellow.
Achenes appressed-hairy; pappus tawny with a few outer bristles.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic meadows, avalanche tracks and open forests in the montane and lower subalpine zones; frequent in S BC in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; E to SW AB and S to CO, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Eucephalus engelmannii

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 937 1686 2240
Slope Gradient (%) 0 38 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 178 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(14), ESSF(115), ICH(17), IDF(4), IMA(1), MS(12)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Aster elegans var. engelmannii D.C. Eaton
Aster engelmannii (D.C. Eaton) A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References