Synonym:  Aster subulatus Michx. var. obtusifolius Fernald

              

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Plants of saltmarshes, tidal marshes and salted highways.  Flowers late-August to early October.  Native.  Our plants are:

[ Symphyotrichum subulatum (Michx.) G.L. Nesom var. subulatum ]

Five varieties of S. subulatum have been recognized.  The only one present in northeastern states is variety subulatum.  This description applies only to variety subulatum.

Annuals.  Taprooted.  Stems are glabrous, or with a few hairs in leaf axils.  Typical height is from 3 to 5 feet.  

The inflorescence is many-branched, many-flowered, often tall and peaked, sometimes pyramidal in outline.  Branches are ascending.

Flower heads are radiateRays are very pale blue-violet to white, very short (avg 1.5-3.0 mm long)Disc floret corollas are yellow.  Involucral bracts are linear, appressed, tapering to long pointed tips, often tinged purple.  Dark green zones are linear, extending along most of involucral bracts.

Basal and lower stem leaves are deciduous by flowering.  Stem and branch leaves are linear to lance-linear, glabrous, long relative to branch lengths.

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Similar species:  Conyza canadensis.

Notes:  This species is found mostly in coastal sections in the Northeast.  The population in Onondaga County, NY is now disjunct.  It may be a relic of a more widespread population that existed when the last glaciers receded (10,000 years ago), and the ancient "Champlain Sea" covered much of what is now the St. Lawrence valley.  Areas along the shores of Onondaga Lake had long been a center for commercial salt production from the late 18th century through the 19th century.

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