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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Doug Murphy     (Photo ID #71350)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Symphyotrichum subspicatum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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)
741 0 2170
Slope Gradient (%)
14 0 120

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

203 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Aster subspicatus var. subspicatus