Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (Willd.) G.L. Nesom ssp. hesperium
(A. Gray) G.L. Nesom

Western Lanceleaf Aster
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Western lanceleaf aster is another of the dozen or so Aster species that are resident in Southern California, species that are probably easily confused in lay minds with the Erigerons, Lessingias and Machaerantheras, which all have Aster-like flowers.  This is an erect rhizomatous perennial that can grow to 4' or 5' tall with many flowering branches which exhibit hairs ± in lines. The alternate linear-lanceolate leaves are acute-tipped and entire to shallowly serrate, the upper ones reduced.  The flowering heads are in an open leafy-bracted cymes with 4-5 rows of linear-oblong acute to acuminate spreading phyllaries.  The many prominent ray flowers are white to violet.  Western lanceleaf aster typically grows on moist streambanks or in meadows to about 5500' in chaparral, southern oak woodland and sagebrush scrub from cismontane Southern California north to Mono County, blooming August to October.  These pictures were taken at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Symphyotrichum  2) lanceolatum
3) hesperium.
Pronunciation: sim-fee-oh-TRY-kum lan-see-oh-LAY-tum hes-PER-ee-um.
Formerly Aster lanceolatus ssp. hesperius.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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