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

Symphyotrichum subspicatum (Nees) G.L. Nesom
Douglas' aster
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Doug Murphy  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #71350)

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Distribution of Symphyotrichum subspicatum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome or stem-base; stems ascending to erect, hairy above, simple or branched above, 0.1-1.0 m tall.
Basal leaves few, soon deciduous; stem leaves oblanceolate below, often narrowed to a winged, stalked base, slightly if at all clasping, 7-13 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, glabrous or nearly so, saw-toothed, at least above.silvery, especially beneath, with fine, close, feltlike woolly hairs, green with age, entire; stem leaves several, lanceolate to spoon-shaped, greatly reduced.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, few to more commonly many in a round-topped inflorescence; involucres 5-6 mm tall; involucral bracts often strongly graduated, linear to lanceolate, abruptly sharp-pointed, usually with a conspicuous, yellowish or brownish basal portion and with an evidently thin, dry, papery or sometimes minutely fringed margin; ray flowers 20-30, violet, 10-15 mm long; disk flowers yellow.
Achenes faintly nerved, more or less hairy; pappus usually reddish at maturity.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, streambanks, shrub thickets and open forests in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in coastal BC, common in S BC and infrequent northward to 56degreeN; N to AK, E to AB and S to MT, ID and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Symphyotrichum subspicatum

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) 0 741 2170
Slope Gradient (%) 0 14 120
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 203 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
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: BAFA(1), BG(6), BWBS(79), CDF(22), CWH(84), ESSF(33), ICH(20), IDF(34), MH(1), MS(16), PP(2), SBPS(3), SBS(58), SWB(2)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Aster subspicatus var. subspicatus

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References