(Michaux) G.L. Nesom
var. parviflorum (Nees) S.D. Sundb.
Slim aster is a slender, erect, glabrous, branching annual growing 1' to 5' tall. The leaves are alternate, basal and cauline, sessile, linear to oblanceolate, mostly entire, acute-tipped, the upper reduced and bractlike. The many, small, radiate flowering heads are in a diffuse, rather narrow panicle with 1/4" high, cone-shaped involucres. The phyllaries are lance-linear in 3-4 series and have thin, membranous margins and translucent midribs. Each head has 15-40 ray flowers, white to light pink to purple, and many yellow disk flowers. There is a pappus of soft, brownish-white bristles. Slim aster inhabits wet, often alkaline places in many plant communities at fairly low elevations, blooming from July to October. These pictures were taken at McGrath State Beach and along Calleguas Creek.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Symphyotrichum