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For the size of the plant, the inflorescence of Sky Blue Aster (Aster oolentangiensis) is rather large and showy. This species of aster closely resembles Short's Aster (Aster shortii), even though the latter species is a woodland aster. However, the upper leaves of Short's Aster are often narrowly cordate, rather than narrowly lanceolate or linear, and its flowerheads are slightly larger in size. Another similar species, Smooth Blue Aster (Aster laevis), has alternate leaves that are all sessile, while Sky Blue Aster has lower to middle leaves with petioles. Other asters (Aster spp.) have hairier foliage, or their leaves are narrow throughout, or they have more cordate leaves, or their alternate leaves have toothed margins. Another scientific name of this aster is Aster azureus – as a result, it is sometimes referred to as the Azure Aster. More recently, the scientific name of this species has been changed to Symphyotrichum oolentangiensis. Return

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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