Synonym:  Aster umbellatus Miller

              

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Plants of mesic to wet meadows, ditches, thickets and edges of marshes.  Flowers mid-August to mid-September.  Native..

Perennial.  Often colony-forming from rhizomes.  Stems are straight, often stout, glabrous or sparsely pubescent.  Typical height is 4 to 5+  feet.

Inflorescences are flat- to round-topped, many-branched in robust plants.  Branch inflorescences are similar, with flower heads concentrated toward the ends of branches in corymb-like arrangements.

Flower heads are radiateRays are white; disc florets are yellow, turning pale yellow to light brown with age.  Lobes of disc corollas are long and strongly recurvedInvolucral bracts are of unequal length, not flat**.  Dark green zones of involucral bracts are not well defined, often limited to a narrow band along the midveinPappus bristles occur in 4 series, the outermost bristles are much shorter than the inner series.  Inner series of pappus bristles have slightly swollen tips.

Basal and lower stem leaves are often deciduous by flowering.  Mid- to upper stem leaves are alternate, lanceolate to elliptic in outline, and untoothed.  The longest stem leaves are at mid-stem.

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Similar species:  Symphyotrichum lanceolatum var. latifolium.

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** Authorities (Flora of North America, 2006) describe the involucral bracts as not "keeled", with midveins being "raised".  I'm describing them as "not flat".

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