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Fall Issue

Asters - Fall Wildflowers


For a New Age Tale see:

Star Flower








Manitoba's Asters

By Doug Collicutt (Click images for more pictures.)

Some of Manitoba's Asters

Here's a small sampling from the 20 or so species of asters that occur in our province. Wherever you are in Manitoba, from Emerson to Churchill, as summer turns to autumn you will find asters of some sort in bloom. Get out into your local prairies, fields, forests or marshes and savour the last blooms of summer. Remember, it will be six months, at least, before you'll see any wildflowers again!

Lindley's Aster

Lindley's Aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum)

(Formerly Aster ciliolatus). A woodland or forest edge species. Grows to about 100 cm tall, usually with one, central flower stalk and several large, almost heart-shaped, basal leaves. Flower colour is light to medium blue.

Many-flowered Aster

Many-flowered Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides)

(Formerly Aster ericoides). A grassland plant occurring in prairies, meadows, ditches. It readily colonizes disturbed ground. Has a low, spreading growth form with many branching stems and tiny leaves. The small (<1 cm), white flowers are densely packed along the stems.

Willow Aster

Willow Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)

(Formerly Aster hesperius). A wetland edge species. Growing to about 75 cm, it produces several leafy stalks with white to pinkish flowers near the top. The long leaves resemble those of a willow.

Smooth Aster

Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve)

(Formerly Aster laevis). A species of grasslands and disturbed areas. The most common aster in southern Manitoba, it readily colonizes roadsides and other disturbed areas often producing large stands and beautiful displays of flowers. Grows as several leafy stalks sprouting bunches of pale blue flowers.

New England Aster

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

(Formerly Aster novae-angliae). A prairie and forest edge species, found mainly in southeastern Manitoba. A tall, erect plant growing to 150 cm, with leafy stalks and large (3 cm across) bluish-purple flowers. Probably our largest and showiest aster.

Purple-stemmed Aster

Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum)

(Formerly Aster puniceus). A common species in swampy areas in boreal forest regions. Grows to 2 m tall, with thick leafy growth and purplish stems. Flowers are large, light blue to violet in colour.

Western Silvery Aster

Western Silvery Aster (Symphyotrichum sericeum)

(Formerly Aster sericeus). An uncommon species of sandy prairies and associated forest edge. Growth form is low and branching, reaching only to 40 cm in height. The leaves are covered in dense silvery-white hairs. The delicate looking flowers are mauve in colour.

Flat-topped White Aster

Flat-Topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

(Formerly Aster umbellatus). A species of wetland edges and moist woodlands. Growth form is upright, to 100 cm, with leafy stalks. The white flowers are clustered at the top of the stem in a dense umbel or flat-topped bunch.

Thanks for learning about Asters! Bye for now!

Check out our New Age Tale: Star Flower

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:

Wild Cucumber | Fall Colours | Poison Ivy | Pink Lady's Slipper

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