Symphyotrichum eatonii (Eaton's Aster) - photos and description







Stem leaf in above photo

Involucre with some foliaceous outer bracts

Stem uniformly pubescent

General: Erect species with plants branching towards the top. Upper stems uniformly pubescent (hairs do not grow in lines), lower stems glabrous. Some plants with red-tinged lower stems.

Plants just beginning to flower in above photos.

Flowers: Inflorescence in long, leafy, narrow clusters. Ray florets light violet, to pink, to white in colour, ray florets measured at 10 mm long by 3 mm wide. We measured flower heads from 23 to 30 mm diameter. We counted 31 ray florets. Involucral bracts arching outwards, some outer bracts leafy, inner involucre bract was measured at 6 mm high.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, linear to lanceolate, entire, sessile, rough to touch with stiff short hairs (scabrous). Leaf highlighted in photo above was 70 mm long and 9 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 80 cm, I measured plants to 53 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist woodland and stream banks in the Cypress upland in southwest Saskatchewan.

Abundance: This plant is extremely rare, ranked as an S1 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species of Symphyotrichum: 1) Rays more or less pink; outer involucral bracts green, obtuse, longer than the inner (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants). Note Budd's Flora says the rays can be pinkish or white. 2) Inflorescence an open, paniculate cluster with spreading, bracteate branches,; heads numerous (Flora of the Great Plains). 3) Leaves linear to lanceolate, little reduced upward; inflorescence nearly 1/2 the length of the stem (Manual of Montana Vascular Plants).

When and where photographed: Above photos taken August 14th, grassy ravine bottom, Cypress Hills, about 450 km south west of our home in Regina, SK.