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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, Cultivated, Native of Temperate America"
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Description

This perennial wildflower is 2-3½' tall, sending up one or more leafy stems during the late spring. Initially, these stems are erect to ascending, but later in the year they sometimes sprawl across the ground. These stems are unbranched below and occasionally branched above; they are light green to reddish brown, terete, glabrous below, and lined with short hairs above. The alternate leaves are up to 4" long and 2½" across, becoming smaller as they ascend the stems. The lower leaves are cordate to cordate-ovate in shape and coarsely serrated to crenate-serrate along their margins. The upper leaves are cordate-ovate to ovate in shape and crenate-serrate to slightly crenate-serrate along their margins. The petioles are up to one-half the length of the blades, becoming relatively shorter as they ascend the stems; these petioles are conspicuously winged along their margins and they are often ciliate or slightly pubescent. The upper surfaces of the leaves are glabrous to sparsely covered with short hairs, while their lower surfaces are usually glabrous, except for some fine hairs along the major veins. However, some young leaves may have sparse short-pubescence on their lower surfaces. The central stem and upper lateral stems (if any) terminate in panicles of flowerheads that are ¾-1¾' long and about one-half as much across. The lateral branches of these panicles are ascending; the peduncles of the flowerheads are short (up to ½" in length). The central stalk, lateral branches, and peduncles are light green to reddish brown, terete, and either glabrous, short-pubescent, or lined with short hairs. Each flowerhead is about ½" across, consisting of about 8-15 ray florets that surround 8-12 disk florets. The petaloid rays of the flowerheads are lavender, light blue-violet, or white. The corollas of the disk florets are initially cream-colored or yellow, but they later become reddish purple. Around the base of each flowerhead, there are phyllaries (scale-like floral bracts) in several overlapping series; individual phyllaries are 2-5 mm. in length. Individual phyllaries are linear-lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, appressed together or slightly spreading, and they have dark green patches near their tips that are diamond-shaped. Leafy bracts up to 1" long occur along the central stalks and lateral branches of panicles; they are linear-oblong or elliptic in shape and entire (smooth) along their margins. The blooming period occurs from late summer into the autumn and lasts about 1-3 months. Afterwards, the florets are replaced by achenes with small tufts of hair; they are distributed by the wind. The achenes are 2.0-2.5 mm. long, oblongoid-oblanceoloid in shape, and brown to purplish brown. The root system is fibrous and short-rhizomatous; an older plant may develop a small woody caudex. This wildflower spreads by reseeding itself and by forming clonal offsets from the rhizomes. A rosette of semi-evergreen basal leaves is created during the autumn that can persist until the spring. These basal leaves are ¾-3" long, cordate-ovate in shape, and crenate-serrated along their margins. Their upper surfaces are medium green and glabrous, while their lower surfaces are pale green and glabrous to finely hairy along the major veins. The petioles are about the same length as the corresponding basal leaves; they are narrow or slightly winged. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This perennial plant is 1-3' tall, branching occasionally in the upper half. The light green to reddish brown stems are usually glabrous; sometimes the central stem has sparse lines of hairs. The alternate leaves are up to 5" long and 3" across (excluding the petioles), becoming smaller as they ascend the stems; they are medium to dark green above and light to medium green below. The lower leaves are cordate, while the upper leaves are cordate-ovate or ovate; their margins are coarsely serrated. Leaf upper surfaces are glabrous, while their lower surfaces are either glabrous or there are hairs along the major veins. The narrow petioles of the leaves are about one-half to almost as long as their blades (up to 3½" in length); they are either unwinged or slightly winged, becoming shorter among the upper leaves. The upper stem terminates in a panicle of flowerheads about ½-1½' long. This panicle is longer than it is wide and it is more broad toward the bottom than the apex. When upper lateral stems are present, much smaller panicles may be produced. The central stalk, lateral branches, and peduncles of each panicle are light to medium green, terete, and glabrous to short-pubescent.  Each small flowerhead is about ½" across, consisting of 7-15 ray florets that surround a similar number of disk florets. The petaloid rays of these flowerheads are lavender, light blue-violet, or less often white; they are linear-oblong in shape. The corollas of the disk florets are short-tubular in shape; these corollas are initially cream-colored or pale yellow, but they later become pale purple to reddish purple with age. The apices of these corollas are 5-lobed; these lobes are short and erect. The base of each flowerhead is surrounded by slender floral bracts (phyllaries) that overlap each other in several series. These scaly bracts are light green, except for diamond-shaped patches of dark green toward their tips; they are linear-lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate in shape and about 3-5 mm. in length. The peduncles of the flowerheads are short (less than ½" in length). Among the branches of each panicle, there are leafy bracts up to 1" long; they are elliptic or linear-oblong in shape. The blooming period occurs from late summer into the fall and lasts about 1-2 months. Afterwards, the florets are replaced by achenes with small tufts of white hair. Individual achenes are 2-3 mm. long and oblongoid-oblanceoloid in shape. The root system is fibrous and short-rhizomatous. This aster reproduces by reseeding itself and vegetatively through its rhizomes. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Tamil Nadu: Nilgiri
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Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Arrow-Leaved Aster is common in most areas of Illinois, except some counties in the south-central area of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include upland woodlands, rocky woodlands, wooded slopes, thinly wooded bluffs, woodland edges, savannas, rocky glades, grassy thickets, small meadows in wooded areas, and edges of yards. This aster tolerates disturbance to some extent. Faunal Associations
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Blue Wood Aster occurs occasionally in scattered counties across Illinois (see Distribution Map). It is more common in the northern half of the state than in the southern half. Habitats include moist to dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, areas adjacent to woodland paths, thinly wooded bluffs, shaded areas along streambanks, and rocky wooded slopes. Some disturbance is beneficial in heavily wooded areas if it reduces excessive shade from overhead canopy trees or excessive competition from shrubs. Faunal Associations
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster lowrieanus var. lowrieanus :
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster lowrieanus var. lanceolatus (Porter) Porter:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster sagittifolius var. sagittifolius :
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster cordifolius var. furbishiae Fernald:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster cordifolius var. racemiflorus Fernald:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster cordifolius var. polycephalus Porter:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster cordifolius var. cordifolius :
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster plumarius E.S. Burgess:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster cordifolius var. moratus (Shinners) Shinners:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster cordifolius var. alvearius E.S. Burgess:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster sagittifolius Wedem. ex Willd.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster lowrieanus Porter:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Aster cordifolius L.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Perennials, 20–120 cm, colonial or cespitose; branched rhizomatous, or with branched caudices, becoming ± woody. Stems 1–5+, erect (straight to ± flexuous distally, often reddish, sometimes brown), usually glabrous, sometimes ± pilose, particularly distally. Leaves thin, margins serrate (often sharply, teeth acuminate, mucronulate) to serrate-crenate or subentire, strigose, apices acuminate to acute, mucronulate, abaxial faces glabrous or sparsely to densely strigose-pilose, often pilose on midveins, sometimes on other veins also, adaxial glabrous or sparsely to densely strigose, sometimes ± scabrous; basal withering by flowering, new vernal rosettes often present, long-petiolate (petioles ± narrowly winged, bases dilated, sheathing, ciliate), blades ovate to elliptic or suborbiculate, (10–)35–150 × (10–)25–75 mm, bases usually deeply cordate, sometimes rounded, margins coarsely, often irregularly serrate, apices sometimes obtuse or rounded; proximal cauline often withering by flowering, winged-petiolate (becoming shorter and more widely winged distally, petiole bases clasping), blades widely to narrowly ovate, 40–100(–140) × 20–40(–70) mm, reduced distally, bases ± deeply cordate to rounded, margins sharply serrate, apices acuminate; distal usually sessile or subsessile, rarely short-petiolate, blades ovate to lanceolate, 5–105 × 2–45 mm, bases cordate or rounded to attenuate or cuneate, margins serrate or entire (distalmost), apices acuminate. Heads [(5–)20–300+] in ± densely paniculiform arrays, branches divaricate to ascending, paniculiform, sometimes ± long-arching, leafy. Peduncles 0.3–2 cm, ± pilose, bracts linear-oblanceolate or -lanceolate to linear, foliaceous, distally grading into phyllaries, margins sparsely ciliolate, glabrous. Involucres cylindro-campanulate to cylindric, (3–)4.5–5(–6) mm. Phyllaries in (3–)4–6 series, linear-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, unequal, bases indurate 1 / 2 – 3 / 4 , margins scarious, erose, hyaline, sparsely ciliolate, green zones lanceolate to ± diamond-shaped, apical, apices (often red-tipped) acute to obtuse-acuminate or acuminate, mucronulate, faces glabrous or sparsely strigillose. Ray florets (8–)10–16(–20); corollas usually blue to purple, seldom whitish or pink, laminae (5–)6–8(–10) × 1.4–1.8 mm. Disc florets (8–)10–15(–20); corollas cream-color or light yellow becoming purple, (3–)4–4.5(–5) mm, tubes slightly shorter than funnelform throats, lobes sometimes ± spreading, narrowly triangular to lanceolate, 0.6–0.9 mm. Cypselae dull purple or light brown, obovoid, ± compressed, 2–2.5 mm, 4–5-nerved, faces glabrous; pappi white or ± rose-tinged, 2.5–4.5 mm. 2n = 16, 32.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Synonym

Aster cordifolius Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 875. 1753; A. cordifolius var. alvearius E. S. Burgess; A. cordifolius var. furbishiae Fernald; A. cordifolius var. incisus Britton; A. cordifolius subsp. laevigatus (Porter) A. G. Jones; A. cordifolius var. laevigatus Porter; A. cordifolius var. lanceolatus Porter; A. cordifolius var. moratus (Shinners) Shinners; A. cordifolius var. polycephalus Porter; A. cordifolius var. racemiflorus Fernald; A. cordifolius subsp. sagittifolius (Wedemeyer ex Willdenow) A. G. Jones; A. cordifolius var. sagittifolius (Wedemeyer ex Willdenow) A. G. Jones; A. finkii Rydberg var. moratus Shinners; A. leiophyllus Porter; A. lowrieanus Porter; A. lowrieanus var. incisus (Britton) Porter; A. lowrieanus var. lanceolatus (Porter) Porter; A. sagittifolius Wedemeyer ex Willdenow; Symphyotrichum cordifolium var. furbishiae (Fernald) G. L. Nesom; S. cordifolium var. lanceolatum (Porter) G. L. Nesom; S. cordifolium var. moratum (Shinners) G. L. Nesom; S. cordifolium var. polycephalum (Porter) G. L. Nesom; S. cordifolium var. racemiflorum (Fernald) G. L. Nesom; S. lowrieanum (Porter) G. L. Nesom; S. sagittifolium (Wedemeyer ex Willdenow) G. L. Nesom
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Type Information

Isotype for Aster cordifolius var. racemiflorus Fernald
Catalog Number: US 1202735
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): M. L. Fernald & B. H. Long
Year Collected: 1912
Locality: Malpeque., Prince Edward Island, Canada, North America
  • Isotype: Fernald, M. L. 1917. Rhodora. 19: 155.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Arrow-Leaved Aster is common in most areas of Illinois, except some counties in the south-central area of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include upland woodlands, rocky woodlands, wooded slopes, thinly wooded bluffs, woodland edges, savannas, rocky glades, grassy thickets, small meadows in wooded areas, and edges of yards. This aster tolerates disturbance to some extent. Faunal Associations
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Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Blue Wood Aster occurs occasionally in scattered counties across Illinois (see Distribution Map). It is more common in the northern half of the state than in the southern half. Habitats include moist to dry deciduous woodlands, woodland borders, areas adjacent to woodland paths, thinly wooded bluffs, shaded areas along streambanks, and rocky wooded slopes. Some disturbance is beneficial in heavily wooded areas if it reduces excessive shade from overhead canopy trees or excessive competition from shrubs. Faunal Associations
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Arrow-Leaved Aster in Illinois

Aster sagittifolius (Arrow-Leaved Aster)
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen; beetles suck nectar, or they feed on pollen & are non-pollinating; other insects suck nectar; all observations are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus impatiens sn cp fq, Bombus pensylvanica sn fq, Bombus vagans sn; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Epeolus pusillus sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes dentiventris sn cp, Melissodes nivea sn cp, Melissodes rustica sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn cp, Megachile latimanus sn cp, Megachile mendica sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlora purus sn, Augochloropsis metallica metallica sn cp, Halictus ligatus sn, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes americana sn cp, Colletes compactus sn cp fq; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena asteris sn; Andrenidae (Panurginae): Heterosarus andrenoides sn cp icp

Wasps
Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila procera; Vespidae: Dolichovespula maculata, Vespula germanica

Flies
Syrphidae: Spilomyia longicornis, Spilomyia sayi, Syrphus ribesii, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus; Empididae: Empis clausa; Bombyliidae: Exoprosopa fascipennis; Calliphoridae: Cochliomyia macellaria, Cynomya cadaverina, Lucilia illustris, Lucius sericata

Butterflies
Pieridae: Phoebis sennae

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Pyrgus communis

Moths
Ctenuchidae: Cisseps fulvicollis

Beetles
Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus sn; Chrysomelidae: Acalymma vittata sn, Diabrotica longicornis sn; Meloidae: Epicauta pensylvanica fp np

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Flower-Visiting Insects of Blue Wood Aster in Illinois

Aster cordifolius (Blue Wood Aster)
(information is limited to Syrphid flies; insect activity is unspecified; observations are from Graenicher)

Flies
Syrphidae: Helophilus fasciatus (Gr), Platycheirus obscurus (Gr), Toxomerus politus (Gr)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Symphyotrichum cordifolium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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Wikipedia

Symphyotrichum cordifolium

Symphyotrichum cordifolium, syn. Aster cordifolius (common names heartleaf aster or common blue wood aster), is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to eastern North America. An herbaceous perennial, it can be readily found along forest edges and in open areas, as well in urban areas and in cultivation. It sometimes produces a naturally occurring hybrid with S. puniceum named Symphyotrichum × tardiflorum where their ranges overlap. The composite flowers, which typically have bluish to rarely white ray florets and light yellow disc florets that eventually turn purple, emerge in August and persist into October.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

S. cordifolium is present in a wide area, from Manitoba in the north west, east to Nova Scotia and Maine, south to Georgia and Alabama and west to Oklahoma. It grows primarily in mesic sites with soils that are rocky to loamy, but generally rich, at heights ranging from sea level along the coastal plain up to 1,200 m (3,937 ft) in the Appalachians. It can be found on open wooded slopes, along the banks of streams, on moist ledges, in swampy woods, along the borders of beech-maple and oak-hickory forests, as well as in clearings, thickets and along roadsides and ditches. It can also be found in urban areas where it is occasionally encountered as a weed species.[4]

Cultivation[edit]

This is a tough plant which can cope with neglect. It is particularly valued for supplying late summer, autumn and even winter flower colour in the garden, in shades of blue, pink and white.[5] Still widely referenced under its former name Aster cordifolius particularly in the British Isles, it shows strong similarities to plants in the genus Aster. Several cultivars have been selected for garden use, of which the following have achieved the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • A. cordifolius 'Sweet lavender'[6]
  • A. cordifolius 'Chieftain'[7]
  • 'Little Carlow' (A. cordifolius hybrid)[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Symphyotrichum cordifolium". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  2. ^ International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI). "Plant Name Search Results" (HTML). International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Symphyotrichum cordifolium". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  4. ^ Brouillet, Luc; Semple, John C.; Allen, Geraldine A.; Chambers, Kenton L.; Sundberg, Scott D. (2006). "Symphyotrichum cordidolium". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America 20. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 501. 
  5. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/3324244/Blazin-squad.html
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster cordifolius 'Sweet Lavender'". Retrieved 06 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster cordifolius 'Chieftain'". Retrieved 06 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster 'Little Carlow'". Retrieved 06 June 2013. 
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Notes

Comments

Symphyotrichum cordifolium has been introduced in British Columbia but has not persisted. In a morphometric analysis of infraspecific variation in the northeastern part of the range, A. Legault (1986) showed that the varieties described are not distinct and mostly represent phenotypic variants caused by growing conditions; likewise, diploid and tetraploid races could not be distinguished morphologically.

The type of Aster cordifolius var. laevigatus is conspecific with that of Symphyotrichum cordifolium. This name is the basionym of S. lowrieanum; therefore the latter cannot be considered distinct from S. cordifolium and is not recognized here. Most specimens initially identified as S. lowrieanum in herbaria have been re-determined as S. cordifolium. Some of the specimens, however, appear to correspond to the hybrid between S. cordifolium and S. laeve var. laeve, called S. ×schistosum (Steele) G. L. Nesom (syn. Aster schistosus Steele).

Symphyotrichum ×tardiflorum (Linnaeus) Greuter, Aghababian & Wagenitz [syn. Aster tardiflorus Linnaeus, A. novibelgii Linnaeus subsp. tardiflorus (Linnaeus) A. G. Jones, A. novibelgii var. tardiflorus (Linnaeus) A. G. Jones, Symphyotrichum novibelgii (Linnaeus) G. L. Nesom var. tardiflorum (Linnaeus) G. L. Nesom] is the F 1 hybrid between S. cordifolium and S. puniceum (J. Labrecque & Brouillet 1996; G. L. Nesom 1997; W. Greuter et al. 2005). Aster tardiflorus forma vestitus (Fernald) Fernald or var. vestitus Fernald is a hairy variant of the hybrid and is not recognized here; hairiness may be related to whichever species is the maternal parent. A. G. Jones (1989) reported hybrids with S. drummondii and S. urophyllum. She believed that var. moratum may be a hybrid with or an introgressant from S. drummondii, but this is not accepted by all authors. Symphyotrichum ×finkii (Rydberg) G. L. Nesom (syn. Aster finkii Rydberg), may be the hybrid of S. cordifolium and S. shortii. All such putative hybrids need to be confirmed.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: The two non-typical varieties recognized by Porter (Aster lowrieanus var. incisus and A. lowrieanus var. lanceolatus) are lumped into Symphyotrichum cordifolium by Kartesz (1999).

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