Aster ericoides*

Heath aster
Low Growing Aster
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Symphyotrichum ericoides, commonly known as the White Aster or Heath Aster, is an herbaceous perennial in the composite family. It is native to much of North America from Quebes and Manitoba all the way south to Georgia and west to New Mexico.

It's an herbaceous perennial plant from 1' to 2' tall, branching occasionally and bushy in appearance. The hairy stems are green initially, but often become brown when the plant matures. The alternate leaves are up to 3" long and ¼" across toward the base of the plant, becoming less than 1" long and 1/8" (3 mm.) across near the flowering stems. They are linear in form and have smooth edges, often with a fine pubescence. The lower leaves usually shrivel and fall off by the time the compound flowers bloom during the fall. These flowers are very numerous and have a daisy-like appearance. Each compound flower is a little less than ½" across, and consists of numerous yellow disk florets, which are surrounded by about 12 white ray florets. There is no noticeable floral scent. There are numerous needle-like green bracts on the flowering stems, giving this plant a heath-like appearance. The little seeds have tufts of white hairs, and are distributed by the wind. The root system is rhizomatous.

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