Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Sometimes Big-Leaved Aster is referred to as Aster macrophyllus. The large basal leaves of this aster are very conspicuous during the spring. During the fall, Big-Leaved Aster resembles many other woodland asters and it is more difficult to identify. However, it can be distinguished from similar species by the appearance of its floral bracts (phyllaries), the presence of short glandular hairs on its peduncles and pedicels (a 10x hand lens may be required), and the flat-headed characteristic of its panicles. Most asters have elongated panicles of flowerheads that are not flat-headed. A species that is not found in Illinois, Eurybia divaricata (White Wood Aster), shares this flat-headed characteristic with Big-Leaved Aster and its leaves have a similar shape. However, White Wood Aster has flowerheads with fewer ray florets (about 5-10), its peduncles and pedicels usually have non-glandular hairs, and its basal leaves are smaller in size.
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Description

This perennial wildflower consists of a rosette of basal leaves during the spring that spans about 6-12" across. The blades of the basal leaves are up to 8" long and 6" across; they are cordate to oval-cordate in shape and crenate-serrate along their margins. The upper surface of these blades is medium green and hairless to short-hairy, while the lower surface is pale green and hairy along the major veins. The petioles of the basal leaves are up to 6" long, light green, and usually hairy. During the summer, unbranched or sparingly branched stems with alternate leaves are produced, while the basal leaves wither away. These stems are light green to pale reddish green, terete, and variably hairy
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Big-Leaved Aster is found only in the northeast section of Illinois, where it is rare. This species is more common in areas that lie to the north or east of the state. Habitats consist of beech-maple woodlands, sandy oak woodlands, sandy oak savannas, elevated areas (hummocks) in swamps, stabilized sand dunes where oak trees are dominant, and woodland borders. Usually, Big-Leaved Aster occupies high-quality natural areas that are more or less mesic (neither too dry nor too wet) and relatively little-disturbed by human activities.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
CT DE GA IL IN IA KY ME MD MA
MI MN MO NH NJ NY NC OH PA RI
SC TN VT VA WV WI DC

CANADA
MB NB NS ON PE PQ

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [12]:

None
  • 12. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

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Bigleaf aster is found in the east-central and northeastern part of North America. Populations occur from Manitoba east to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia, and as far west as Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. Bigleaf aster is rare in Manitoba, Missouri, and Iowa [55]. Flora of North America provides a distributional map of bigleaf aster.
  • 55. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: forb, pappus

This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [42,71,82,86,91,103,112,116].

Bigleaf aster is a native perennial forb. It is rhizomatous and colonial, often forming dense patches measuring up to 19 × 16 feet (5.8 × 5 m) [114]. It has basal and cauline leaves. The large basal leaves are borne on short, sterile shoots. They are thick, firm, and have long petioles. The cauline leaves become smaller and stalkless as they ascend the inflorescence. The inflorescence is a corymb that reaches heights of 5 feet (1.5 m). The corymb has sticky, glandular hairs. Flowers have both ray and disc florets. The fruit is a nutlet and is ellipsoid to oblanceolate, ribbed, and pubescent. The seed has a pappus [42,54,57,58,82,85,103].

Physiology: Bigleaf aster can persist in high light environments because of its ability to control stomatal conductance. Increases in evaporative loading, created in high light environments, initiate stomatal closure to prevent excessive water loss [89].

  • 103. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2d ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 112. Voss, Edward G. 1996. Michigan flora. Part III: Dicots (Pyrolaceae--Compositae). Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 61/University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, MI: The Regents of the University of Michigan. 622 p. [30401]
  • 114. Whitford, Philip B. 1949. Distribution of woodland plants in relation to succession and clonal growth. Ecology. 30(2): 199-208. [61241]
  • 116. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 42. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 54. Jones, R. Keith; Pierpoint, Geoffrey; Wickware, Gregory M.; Jeglum, John K.; Arnup, Robert W.; Bowles, Jane M. 1983. Field guide to forest ecosystem classification for the Clay Belt, site region 3e. Toronto, ON: Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Forest Research Institute. 160 p. [16163]
  • 57. Kotar, John; Burger, Timothy L. 1996. A guide to forest communities and habitat types of central and southern Wisconsin. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, The Department of Forestry. 378 p. [29126]
  • 58. Kotar, John; Kovach, Joseph A.; Locey, Craig T. 1988. Field guide to forest habitat types of northern Wisconsin. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Department of Forestry; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 217 p. [11510]
  • 71. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 82. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 85. Robinson, D. E.; Wagner, R. G.; Swanton, C. J. 2002. Effects of nitrogen on the growth of jack pine competing with Canada blue-joint grass and large-leaved aster. Forest Ecology and Management. 160(1/3): 233-242. [60645]
  • 86. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 89. Schulz, Kurt E.; Adams, Michael S. 1995. Effect of canopy gap light environment of evaporative load and stomatal conductance on the temperate forest understory herb Aster macrophyllus (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany. 82(5): 630-637. [61243]
  • 91. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]

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Description

Plants 15–110 cm; in extensive, dense clones (with abundant, sterile rosettes); rhizomes branched, herbaceous. Stems 1, erect, simple, straight to ± flexuous, glabrous or sparsely villous, stipitate-glandular, more densely so distally (at least in arrays). Leaves basal and cauline, thick, firm, margins coarsely serrate (proximal) to crenate-serrate or entire (distal), scabrous, teeth mucronate, apices acuminate, sharply mucronate, abaxial faces glabrescent to sparsely strigose, veins stipitate-glandular, adaxial sparsely strigose, ± densely villous on veins, short-stipitate-glandular (more so on distal); basal withering by flowering, petioles (25–)80–170 mm, ± winged, bases sheathing, ciliate, blades broadly ovate, (45–)110–250 × (25–)55–150 mm, bases deeply cordate (sinuses curved), sometimes slightly oblique; cauline petiolate (3–110 mm), gradually more broadly winged and sometimes ± auriculate distally, ± clasping, ciliate, to subpetiolate or sessile, blades broadly ovate to ovate, 22–104 × 9–80 mm, gradually reduced distally, bases cordate to rounded or attenuate to cuneate; distal (arrays) sessile, blades ovate or broadly lanceolate or elliptic to obovate or oblanceolate, 9–38 × 3–13 mm, abruptly reduced distally, bases ± clasping to rounded or cuneate (arrays), margins crenate-serrate or entire. Heads (2–)8–90+ in flat-topped, corymbiform arrays. Peduncles firm, 0–4 cm, densely stipitate-glandular; bracts 0–2, ovate-lanceolate, ± stipitate-glandular. Involucres broadly campanulate to campanulate, (6–)7–11 mm, shorter than pappi. Phyllaries 32–35 in 5–6 series, appressed, often purple-tinged, usually obovate to oblong, seldom ovate (outer) to oblanceolate or linear-lanceolate (inner) (innermost to 7 mm), strongly unequal, bases indurate, keeled or rounded adaxially, dark green zones wide, 1 / 3 – 1 / 2 distal portion (rarely to base in outer) to less pronounced along midveins or none (inner), margins hyaline or reddish, scarious, ± erose, densely villoso-ciliate apically, apices obtuse to rounded or acute (inner), adaxial faces ± villous, ± stipitate-glandular. Ray florets 9–20; corollas ± deep lavender or violet to occasionally white, (7–)11–15 × 1.4–2.4 mm. Disc florets 20–40; corollas cream-color or light yellow, becoming purple, 6–7.5 mm, slightly ampliate, tubes (ca. 4 mm) longer than funnelform throats (ca 1.2 mm), lobes reflexed, lanceolate, 1–1.6 mm. Cypselae brown, fusiform or cylindro-obconic, compressed, 2.6–4.5 mm, ribs 7–12 (golden brown), faces glabrous or sparsely strigillose distally; pappi of tawny to orangish (sometimes clavellate) bristles 5–7.5 mm, slightly longer than disc corollas. 2n = 72.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Aster macrophyllus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. ed. 2, 2: 1232. 1763; A. macrophyllus var. apricensis E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. excelsior E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. ianthinus (E. S. Burgess) Fernald; A. macrophyllus var. pinguifolius E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. sejunctus E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. velutinus E. S. Burgess; A. multiformis E. S. Burgess; A. riciniatus E. S. Burgess; Biotia latifolia de Candolle; B. macrophylla (Linnaeus) de Candolle; Eurybia jussiei Cassini
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Big-Leaved Aster is found only in the northeast section of Illinois, where it is rare. This species is more common in areas that lie to the north or east of the state. Habitats consist of beech-maple woodlands, sandy oak woodlands, sandy oak savannas, elevated areas (hummocks) in swamps, stabilized sand dunes where oak trees are dominant, and woodland borders. Usually, Big-Leaved Aster occupies high-quality natural areas that are more or less mesic (neither too dry nor too wet) and relatively little-disturbed by human activities.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: swamp

Bigleaf aster occupies dry to moist, nutrient poor to intermediate nutrient sites on Isle Royale National Park, Michigan [46].

The following table describes site characteristics for bigleaf aster throughout its distribution.

State/Region/Province Site Characteristics
Georgia Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains [82]
Illinois Dry open woods [71]
Michigan Drier sites, less often in swamp forests and river banks [112]
Tennessee Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains
Virginia Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains [82]
West Virginia Dry to open woods and mountains [82,103]
Adirondack Mountains, New York Shaded, well-drained sites, 100 to 3,400 feet (30-1,000 m) [61]
Blue Ridge Mountains Rich woods [116]
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan Dry to moist, nutrient poor to intermediate nutrient sites [46]
Nova Scotia Dry woods, thickets, open barrens, often growing in the shade [86]
  • 103. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2d ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 112. Voss, Edward G. 1996. Michigan flora. Part III: Dicots (Pyrolaceae--Compositae). Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 61/University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, MI: The Regents of the University of Michigan. 622 p. [30401]
  • 116. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 46. Hansen, Henry L.; Krefting, Lauritis W.; Kurmis, Vilis. 1973. The forest of Isle Royale in relation to fire history and wildlife. Tech. Bull. 294/Forestry Series 13. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Agricultural Experiment Station. 44 p. [8120]
  • 61. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376]
  • 71. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 82. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 86. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the term: fern

Bigleaf aster is recognized as a dominant species in the following vegetation
classifications:

Adirondack Mountains, New York

wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)/bigleaf aster type

beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta var. cornuta)/bigleaf aster type

bigleaf aster-whorled woody aster (Oclemena acuminata)-wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) type [48]
Boreal forests of North America

black spruce (Picea mariana)/red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera)/bigleaf aster/red baneberry (Actaea rubra)

white spruce-fir (Picea glauca-Abies spp.)/beaked hazel/bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)/bigleaf aster-wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) [34]
Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is a common dominant associate of bigleaf aster in Wisconsin [28].
Kittredge [56] states that bigleaf aster is so ubiquitous among aspen (Populus spp.)
communities of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin that it has almost no value
as an indicator for habitat differences.
  • 28. Curtis, John T. 1959. Sand barrens and bracken-grassland. In: Curtis, John T. The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 308-321. [60527]
  • 34. Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L. 1988. The boreal forest. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Billings, William Dwight, eds. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press: 33-62. [13878]
  • 48. Heimburger, Carl C. 1934. Forest-type studies in the Adirondack Region. Memoir 165. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 122 p. [21495]
  • 56. Kittredge, Joseph, Jr. 1938. The interrelations of habitat, growth rate, and associated vegetation in the aspen community of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ecological Monographs. 8(2): 152-246. [10356]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the term: cover

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [93]:

None
  • 93. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [35]:

1 Jack pine

5 Balsam fir

12 Black spruce

13 Black spruce-tamarack

14 Northern pin oak

15 Red pine

16 Aspen

17 Pin cherry

18 Paper birch

19 Gray birch-red maple

20 White pine-northern red oak-red maple

21 Eastern white pine

22 White pine-hemlock

23 Eastern hemlock

24 Hemlock-yellow birch

25 Sugar maple-beech-yellow birch

26 Sugar maple-basswood

27 Sugar maple

28 Black cherry-maple

30 Red spruce-yellow birch

31 Red spruce-sugar maple-beech

32 Red spruce

33 Red spruce-balsam fir

34 Red spruce-Fraser fir

35 Paper birch-red spruce-balsam fir

37 Northern white-cedar

38 Tamarack

39 Black ash-American elm-red maple

42 Bur oak

44 Chestnut oak

51 White pine-chestnut oak

52 White oak-black oak-northern red oak

53 White oak

55 Northern red oak

57 Yellow-poplar

58 Yellow-poplar-eastern hemlock

59 Yellow-poplar-white oak-northern red oak

60 Beech-sugar maple

107 White spruce

108 Red maple

110 Black oak

253 Black spruce-white spruce
  • 35. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: bog

KUCHLER [60] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K093 Great Lakes spruce-fir forest

K094 Conifer bog

K095 Great Lakes pine forest

K096 Northeastern spruce-fir forest

K099 Maple-basswood forest

K100 Oak-hickory forest

K101 Elm-ash forest

K102 Beech-maple forest

K103 Mixed mesophytic forest

K104 Appalachian oak forest

K106 Northern hardwoods

K107 Northern hardwoods-fir forest

K108 Northern hardwoods-spruce forest

K109 Transition between K104 and K106
  • 60. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [41]:

FRES10 White-red-jack pine

FRES11 Spruce-fir

FRES15 Oak-hickory

FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood

FRES18 Maple-beech-birch

FRES19 Aspen-birch
  • 41. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract a large variety of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, beetles, and plant bugs. An oligolectic Andrenid bee, Andrena hirticincta, has been observed visiting the flowerheads of Big-Leaved Aster (see Graenicher). Other insects feed on the foliage and flowers, suck plant juices, or bore through the stems and roots of this aster and others. Examples of such insect feeders include caterpillars of the butterflies Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot) and Phyciodes tharos (Pearl Crescent); also the caterpillars of Carmenta corni (Aster Borer Moth), Cucullia asteroides (The Asteroid), Schinia arcigera (Arcigera Flower Moth), and other moths feed on asters (see Moth Table). Other insects feeders include the larvae of Calycomyza humeralis (Aster Leafminer Fly), several aphids (mostly Uroleucon spp.), Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Aster Leafhopper), the lace bugs Corythucha marmorata and Galeata spinifrons, the leaf beetles Exema canadensis and Ophraella pilosa, the plant bug Plagiognathus cuneatus, and others (see Insect Table for a more complete listing of species). Some vertebrate animals use asters as a food source. The Ruffed Grouse and Wild Turkey eat the seeds and foliage, while the White-Tailed Deer and Cottontail Rabbit sometimes browse on the foliage. The foliage is also edible to cattle, sheep, and other domesticated farm animals.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Large-Leaved Aster in Illinois

Aster macrophyllus (Large-Leaved Aster)
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen, flies & beetles suck nectar or feed on pollen, other insects suck nectar; one observation is from Krombein et al. as indicated below, otherwise observations are from Graenicher)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus pensylvanica sn, Bombus perplexus sn, Bombus vagans sn, Psithyrus citrinus sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes trinodis sn cp; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Epeoloides pilosula sn; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys modesta sn, Coelioxys moesta sn, Coelioxys sodalis sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile centuncularis sn cp, Megachile mendica sn, Megachile montivaga sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis pilosifrons sn, Osmia atriventris sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella striata sn cp, Halictus sp. sn cp, Halictus confusus sn cp, Halictus rubicunda sn cp, Lasioglossum albipennis sn cp, Lasioglossum cinctipes sn, Lasioglossum coriaceus sn cp, Lasioglossum connexus sn, Lasioglossum cressonii sn cp, Lasioglossum forbesii sn cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes minor sn; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn, Hylaeus mesillae sn, Hylaeus modestus modestus sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena hirticincta sn cp olg, Andrena peckhami sn cp, Andrena placata (Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn; Melittidae: Macropis nuda sn

Wasps
Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Lestica confluentus; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris nigrescens, Eucerceris fulvipes; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila kennedyi; Ichneumonidae: Ceratogastra ornata, Pimpla pedalis; Vespidae: Polistes fuscata; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Ancistrocerus adiabatus, Eumenes fraterna, Euodynerus foraminatus, Parancistrocerus vagus, Symmorphus albomarginatus, Symmorphus cristatus

Flies
Syrphidae: Epistrophe emarginata, Eristalinus aeneus, Eristalis arbustorum, Eristalis brousii, Eristalis dimidiatus, Eristalis flavipes, Eristalis tenax, Eristalis transversus, Eupeodes americanus, Helophilus fasciatus, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Syritta pipiens, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus; Conopidae: Thecophora abbreviata, Thecophora occidensis; Tachinidae: Archytas analis, Cylindromyia carolinae, Cylindromyia dosiades, Spallanzania hesperidarum; Sarcophagidae: Sarcophaga sp.; Calliphoridae: Lucilia sp., Lucilia sericata, Pollenia rudis; Muscidae: Graphomya maculata, Neomyia cornicina, Stomoxys calcitrans; Anthomyiidae: Calythea pratincola, Delia platura; Chloropidae: Siphonella oscinina; Tephritidae: Paroxyna albiceps

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus; Lycaenidae: Celastrina argiolus

Moths
Arctiidae: Utetheisa bella

Beetles
Chrysomelidae: Diabrotica undecimpunctata; Cleridae: Trichodes apivorus; Coccinellidae: Coleomegilla maculata; Meloidae: Epicauta pensylvanica; Melyridae: Attalus terminalis; Mordellidae: Hoshihananomia octopunctata

Plant Bugs
Miridae: Adelphocoris rapidus, Lygus lineolaris; Thyreocoridae: Corimelaena pulicarius

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: natural, prescribed fire, wildfire

Bigleaf aster's fire-adaptive traits suggest that the use of prescribed fire that opens the canopy is beneficial for the species.

Bigleaf aster may aid in preventing wildfire ignition and slowing fire spread. Hogenbirk and Sarrazin-Delay [51] assessed the possibility of planting less-flammable vegetation including bigleaf aster in fire-prone areas, around property, or in fire-sensitive natural areas to reduce the spread of human-caused fires in herbaceous communities of northern Ontario. Bigleaf aster was 1 of 3 species that had the lowest potential ignitability.
  • 51. Hogenbirk, J. C.; Sarrazin-Delay, C. L. 1995. Using fuel characteristics to estimate plant ignitability for fire hazard reduction. Water, Air and Soil Pollution. 82: 161-170. [26985]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: alvar, cover, crown fire, density, fire intensity, frequency, high-severity fire, prescribed fire, surface fire, wildfire

Bigleaf aster responds favorably to fire, regenerating vegetatively from rhizomes and root crowns soon afterwards [3,17,18,19,20,65]. It often increases in abundance and produces more flowers after fire [2,70,99,104,106,112]. It is a dominant herb after wildland and prescribed fires, is present before and after burning, and is found on burned and unburned areas [1,2,4,9,59,70]. Sidhu [96] stated that the postfire response of bigleaf aster is affected more by fire intensity than by the time of burning. The greater the fire intensity, the greater the negative effect on bigleaf aster [96]. Research reveals, however, that bigleaf aster is capable of vegetative regrowth after low- and high-severity fires.

Smith [100] stated that the greatest abundance of bigleaf aster occurred after low-severity surface fires. "Vigorous" growth was observed the 1st growing season following a spring low-severity prescribed fire on eastern white pine forests in New Hampshire and for 3 postfire growing seasons after a spring wildfire in mature red and eastern white pine stands in northeastern Minnesota [6,19,20]. Bigleaf aster density increased immediately following a spring wildfire in a jack pine forest in northeastern Minnesota, making it 1 of the most common herbs on the site. The fire had varied intensities, including areas with intense crown fire and low-severity surface fire. The forest floor was still moist, with the fire occurring in May, so areas that did experience high-severity fire had only the upper portion of the forest floor burned [14,52,75,76].

Bigleaf aster sprouts were recorded within weeks and months after high-severity wildfires on alvar woodlands (white spruce, quaking aspen, northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea)) and on old-growth red and eastern white pine forests in Ontario [18,65,97].

Bigleaf aster can be reduced by fire [45]. The percent cover of bigleaf aster declined after both low- and high-severity prescribed burns on jack pine forests in northern Ontario, but bigleaf aster maintained at least 10% cover in the 10 years monitored after the fire. The percent cover decline was greater on the high-severity burns than on the low-severity burns [66]. Postfire density of bigleaf aster was recorded the 1st growing season after a spring (low-severity) and a summer (high-severity) fire in northern Minnesota. Bigleaf aster responded less vigorously after the summer wildfire compared to the spring wildfire, with densities averaging 10 stems/m² and 19 stems/m², respectively [77]. On bracken fern-grasslands in Wisconsin, bigleaf aster decreased after fire. However, the change in the percent frequency from before (23.3%) and after fire (17.7%) was only 5.6% [111].

Bigleaf aster also persists after fire by dispersing seeds onto mineral soil from adjacent undisturbed areas [17,50].

  • 1. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1959. Some effects of fire on forest reproduction in northeastern Minnesota. Journal of Forestry. 57: 194-200. [208]
  • 100. Smith, David William. 1967. Studies in the taxonomy and ecology of blueberries (Vaccinium, subgenus Cyanococcus) in Ontario. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto. 276 p. Dissertation. [10872]
  • 104. Swain, Albert M. 1973. A history of fire and vegetation in northeastern Minnesota as recorded in lake sediments. Quaternary Research. 3(3): 383-396. [38931]
  • 106. Swan, Frederick Robbins, Jr. 1966. The effects of fire on plant communities of south-central New York State. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University. 169 p. Dissertation. [37434]
  • 111. Vogl, R. J. 1964. The effects of fire on the vegetational composition of bracken-grassland. Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. 53: 67-82. [9142]
  • 112. Voss, Edward G. 1996. Michigan flora. Part III: Dicots (Pyrolaceae--Compositae). Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 61/University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, MI: The Regents of the University of Michigan. 622 p. [30401]
  • 14. Books, David J.; Heinselman, Miron L.; Ohmann, Lewis F. 1971. Revegetation research on the Little Sioux Burn. Naturalist. 22: 12-21. [3856]
  • 17. Buse, L. J.; Bell, F. W. 1992. Critical silvics of selected crop and competitor species in northwestern Ontario. Thunder Bay, ON: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Northwestern Ontario Forest Technology Development Unit. 138 p. [30340]
  • 18. Catling, Paul M.; Sinclair, Adrianne; Cuddy, Don. 2001. Vascular plants of a successional alvar burn 100 days after a severe fire and their mechanisms of re-establishment. Canadian Field Naturalist. 115(2): 214-222. [45889]
  • 19. Chapman, Rachel Ross; Crow, Garrett E. 1981. Application of Raunkiaer's life form system to plant species survival after fire. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 108(4): 472-478. [7432]
  • 2. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1960. Some effects of fire on reproduction and growth of vegetation in northeastern Minnesota. Ecology. 41(3): 431-445. [207]
  • 20. Chapman, Rachel Ross; Crow, Garrett E. 1981. Raunkiaer's life form classification in relation to fire. Bartonia. Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Botanical Club. 48: 19-33. [53612]
  • 3. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1960. Vegetational development following burning in the northern coniferous forest of Minnesota. In: Proceedings, annual meeting of the Society of American Foresters; 1959 November 15-19; San Francisco, CA. Bethesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 21-22. [29104]
  • 4. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1966. Small mammals and reforestation following prescribed burning. Journal of Forestry. 64: 614-618. [206]
  • 45. Haeussler, Sybille; Bergeron, Yves. 2004. Range of variability in boreal aspen plant communities after wildfire and clear-cutting. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 34(2): 274-288. [48445]
  • 50. Heinselman, Miron L. 1981. Fire and succession in the conifer forests of northern North America. In: West, Darrell C.; Shugart, Herman H.; Botkin, Daniel B., eds. Forest succession: concepts and applications. New York: Springer-Verlag: 374-405. [29237]
  • 52. Irwin, Larry L. 1985. Foods of moose, Alces alces, and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, on a burn in boreal forest. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 99(2): 240-245. [4513]
  • 59. Krefting, Laurits W.; Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1974. Small mammals and vegetation changes after fire in a mixed conifer-hardwood forest. Ecology. 55: 1391-1398. [9874]
  • 6. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1976. Regeneration of red pine and white pine following wildfire and logging in northeastern Minnesota. Journal of Forestry. 74: 135-140. [7242]
  • 65. Lynham, T. J.; Curran, T. R. 1998. Vegetation recovery after wildfire in old-growth red and white pine. Frontline: Forestry Research Applications/Technical Note No. 100. Sault Ste. Marie, ON: Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Great Lakes Forestry Centre. 4 p. [30685]
  • 66. Lynham, T. J.; Wickware, G. M.; Mason, J. A. 1998. Soil chemical changes and plant succession following experimental burning in immature jack pine. Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 78(1): 93-104. [29822]
  • 70. Methven, Ian R. 1973. Fire, succession and community structure in a red and white pine stand. Information Report PS-X-43. Chalk River, ON: Environment Canada, Forestry Service, Petawawa Forest Experiment Station. 18 p. [18601]
  • 75. Ohmann, Lewis F.; Grigal, David F. 1977. Some individual plant biomass values from northeastern Minnesota. NC-227. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 2 p. [8151]
  • 76. Ohmann, Lewis F.; Grigal, David F. 1979. Early revegetation and nutrient dynamics following the 1971 Little Sioux Forest Fire in northeastern Minnesota. Forest Science Monograph 21. Bethesda, MD: The Society of American Foresters. 80 p. [6992]
  • 77. Ohmann, Lewis F.; Grigal, David F. 1981. Contrasting vegetation responses following two forest fires in northeastern Minnesota. The American Midland Naturalist. 106(1): 54-64. [8285]
  • 9. Apfelbaum, Steven; Haney, Alan. 1981. Bird populations before and after wildfire in a Great Lakes pine forest. The Condor. 83: 347-354. [8556]
  • 96. Sidhu, S. S. 1973. Early effects of burning and logging in pine-mixed woods. I. Frequency and biomass of minor vegetation. Inf. Rep. PS-X-46. Chalk River, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Petawawa Forest Experiment Station. 47 p. [7901]
  • 97. Sidhu, S. S. 1973. Early effects of burning and logging in pine-mixedwoods. II. Recovery in numbers of species and ground cover of minor vegetation. Inf. Rep. PS-X-47. Chalk River, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Petawawa Forest Experiment Station. 23 p. [8227]
  • 99. Skutch, Alexander F. 1929. Early stages of plant succession following forest fires. Ecology. 10(2): 177-190. [21349]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Bigleaf aster is likely top-killed by fire. Established plants are probably resistant to fire-induced mortality because of soil-protected rhizomes.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: geophyte, rhizome, root crown, secondary colonizer

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [102]:
Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil
Caudex/herbaceous root crown, growing points in soil
Geophyte, growing points deep in soil
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)
  • 102. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. FEIS postfire regeneration workshop--April 12: Seral origin of species comprising secondary plant succession in Northern Rocky Mountain forests. 10 p. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [20090]

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: hardwood, severity, top-kill

Fire adaptations: Bigleaf aster sprouts from rhizomes and root crowns after top-kill by fire. It also establishes after fire by dispersing seeds onto mineral soil from adjacent unburned areas [17,50].

FIRE REGIMES for boreal forest communities, where bigleaf aster occurs most often, are mixed to high severity with fire return intervals ranging from 35 to 200 years. The northern hardwood forests, where bigleaf aster is also known to occur, historically burned infrequently: fire return intervals often greater than 1,000 years. When these forests do burn, fires tend to be low severity because the fuels are relatively wet [15].

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where bigleaf aster is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
maple-beech Acer-Fagus spp. 684-1,385 [25,113]
maple-beech-birch Acer-Fagus-Betula spp. >1,000
silver maple-American elm Acer saccharinum-Ulmus americana <5 to 200
sugar maple Acer saccharum >1,000
sugar maple-basswood Acer saccharum-Tilia americana >1,000 [113]
birch Betula spp. 80-230 [105]
beech-sugar maple Fagus spp.-Acer saccharum >1,000
black ash Fraxinus nigra 113]
green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica <35 to >300 [33,113]
tamarack Larix laricina 35-200 [80]
yellow-poplar Liriodendron tulipifera <35 [113]
Great Lakes spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35 to >200
northeastern spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35-200
black spruce Picea mariana 35-200
conifer bog* Picea mariana-Larix laricina 35-200
red spruce* Picea rubens 35-200 [32]
jack pine Pinus banksiana <35 to 200 [25,32]
red pine (Great Lakes region) Pinus resinosa 3-18 (x=3-10) [24,40]
red-white pine* (Great Lakes region) Pinus resinosa-P. strobus 3-200 [25,49,64]
eastern white pine Pinus strobus 35-200
eastern white pine-eastern hemlock Pinus strobus-Tsuga canadensis 35-200
eastern white pine-northern red oak-red maple Pinus strobus-Quercus rubra-Acer rubrum 35-200 [113]
aspen-birch Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera 35-200 [32,113]
black cherry-sugar maple Prunus serotina-Acer saccharum >1,000
oak-hickory Quercus-Carya spp. <35
northeastern oak-pine Quercus-Pinus spp. 10 to <35
white oak-black oak-northern red oak Quercus alba-Q. velutina-Q. rubra <35
northern pin oak Quercus ellipsoidalis <35
bur oak Quercus macrocarpa <10
chestnut oak Quercus prinus 3-8
northern red oak Quercus rubra 10 to <35
black oak Quercus velutina <35 [113]
eastern hemlock-yellow birch Tsuga canadensis-Betula alleghaniensis 100-240 [105,113]
eastern hemlock-white pine Tsuga canadensis-Pinus strobus x=47 [25]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
  • 105. Swain, Albert M. 1978. Environmental changes during the past 2000 years in north-central Wisconsin: analysis of pollen, charcoal, and seeds from varved lake sediments. Quaternary Research. 10: 55-68. [6968]
  • 113. Wade, Dale D.; Brock, Brent L.; Brose, Patrick H.; Grace, James B.; Hoch, Greg A.; Patterson, William A., III. 2000. Fire in eastern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 53-96. [36983]
  • 15. Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. 2000. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech Rep. RMRS-GRT-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 257 p. [36581]
  • 17. Buse, L. J.; Bell, F. W. 1992. Critical silvics of selected crop and competitor species in northwestern Ontario. Thunder Bay, ON: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Northwestern Ontario Forest Technology Development Unit. 138 p. [30340]
  • 24. Clark, James S. 1990. Twentieth-century climate change, fire suppression, and forest production and decomposition in northwestern Minnesota. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 20: 219-232. [11646]
  • 25. Cleland, David T.; Crow, Thomas R.; Saunders, Sari C.; Dickmann, Donald I.; Maclean, Ann L.; Jordan, James K.; Watson, Richard L.; Sloan, Alyssa M.; Brosofske, Kimberley D. 2004. Characterizing historical and modern FIRE REGIMES in Michigan (USA): a landscape ecosystem approach. Landscape Ecology. 19: 311-325. [54326]
  • 32. Duchesne, Luc C.; Hawkes, Brad C. 2000. Fire in northern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 35-51. [36982]
  • 33. Eggler, Willis A. 1980. Live oak. In: Eyre, F. H., ed. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters: 63-64. [49984]
  • 40. Frissell, Sidney S., Jr. 1968. A fire chronology for Itasca State Park, Minnesota. Minnesota Forestry Research Notes No. 196. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota. 2 p. [34527]
  • 49. Heinselman, Miron L. 1970. The natural role of fire in northern conifer forests. In: The role of fire in the Intermountain West: Symposium proceedings; 1970 October 27-29; Missoula, MT. Missoula, MT: Intermountain Fire Research Council: 30-41. In cooperation with: University of Montana, School of Forestry. [15735]
  • 50. Heinselman, Miron L. 1981. Fire and succession in the conifer forests of northern North America. In: West, Darrell C.; Shugart, Herman H.; Botkin, Daniel B., eds. Forest succession: concepts and applications. New York: Springer-Verlag: 374-405. [29237]
  • 64. Loope, Walter L. 1991. Interrelationships of fire history, land use history, and landscape pattern within Pictured Rocks National Seashore, Michigan. The Canadian Field-Naturalist. 105(1): 18-28. [5950]
  • 80. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Haase, Sally M.; Harrington, Michael G.; Narog, Marcia G.; Sackett, Stephen S.; Wilson, Ruth C. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-volume 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: cover, hardwood, presence, succession

Bigleaf aster is ubiquitous throughout all seral stages. On Isle Royale National Park it is the most abundant ground cover species in all age groups of postfire succession. It is present in young and old quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands in northwestern Ontario [53,119]. Bigleaf aster was persistent throughout all stages of succession on boreal forests of southern Quebec [31]. These examples suggest that bigleaf aster does not follow a successional trend.

The underground organs of bigleaf aster can aid in the early phases of site recovery after harvesting and fire. The dense, clonal structure of bigleaf aster was an important storage sink for nutrients after whole-tree harvesting on red maple (Acer rubrum) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra) dominated forests of the Upper Michigan Peninsula [27]. On quaking aspen communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin and boreal forests of northern Ontario, the presence of bigleaf aster in the 1st year following fire suggests that it can be a pioneer species [56,92]. Bigleaf aster was abundant in the early postfire (26- and 46-year-old stands) successional stage of boreal forests in southern Quebec [31]. It was a pioneer species during the herbaceous stage of succession on "highland hardwood" burned areas in northern Minnesota [44]. Bigleaf aster is considered a dominant, "competitive" species of early successional boreal forests of Ontario [11,95].

Bigleaf aster is moderately to very shade tolerant [47,94]. The shade tolerance of bigleaf aster allows it to dominate the understory in mid- and late-seral stages [30,94]. After canopy closure bigleaf aster can proliferate for many years by vegetative growth in the understory and by utilizing canopy gaps [30]. Understory vegetation surveys of mid- to late-seral northern hardwood and boreal forests of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and southern Quebec reveal the presence and often abundance of bigleaf aster [6,26,37,88,101,108,110].

  • 101. Stallard, Harvey. 1929. Secondary succession in the climax forest formations of northern Minnesota. Ecology. 10(4): 476-547. [3808]
  • 108. Taylor, S. J.; Carleton, T. J.; Adams, P. 1987. Understory vegetation change in a Picea mariana chronosequence. Vegetatio. 73: 63-72. [14605]
  • 11. Bell, F. Wayne; Ter-Mikaelian, Michael T.; Wagner, Robert G. 2000. Relative competitiveness of nine early-successional boreal forest species associated with planted jack pine and black spruce seedlings. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 30(5): 790-800. [40117]
  • 110. Vellend, Mark; Lechowicz, Martin J.; Waterway, Marcia J. 2000. Environmental distribution of four Carex species (Cyperaceae) in an old-growth forest. American Journal of Botany. 87(10): 1507-1516. [62803]
  • 119. Zoladeski, Christopher A.; Maycock, Paul F. 1990. Dynamics of the boreal forest in northwest Ontario. The American Midland Naturalist. 124(2): 289-300. [13496]
  • 26. Cooper, William S. 1913. The climax forest of Isle Royale, Lake Superior, and its development. III. Botanical Gazette. 55(3): 189-235. [11539]
  • 27. Crow, T. R.; Mroz, G. D.; Gale, M. R. 1991. Regrowth and nutrient accumulations following whole-tree harvesting of a maple-oak forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 21: 1305-1315. [16600]
  • 30. De Grandpre, Louis; Bergenon, Yves. 1997. Diversity and stability of understory communities following disturbance in the southern boreal forest. Journal of Ecology. 85(6): 777-784. [28596]
  • 31. De Grandpre, Louis; Gagnon, Daniel; Bergeron, Yves. 1993. Changes in the understory of Canadian southern boreal forest after fire. Journal of Vegetation Science. 4: 803-810. [23019]
  • 37. Flaccus, Edward; Ohmann, Lewis F. 1964. Old-growth northern hardwood forests in northeastern Minnesota. Ecology. 45(3): 448-459. [49631]
  • 44. Grant, Martin L. 1929. The burn succession in Itasca County, Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota. 63 p. Thesis. [36527]
  • 47. Harvey, Brian; Brais, Suzanne. 2002. Effects of mechanized careful logging on natural regeneration and vegetation competition in the southeastern Canadian boreal forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 32(4): 653-666. [46330]
  • 53. Janke, Robert A.; Lowther, John L. 1980. Post-fire succession in the boreal forest type of Isle Royale National Park. In: Proceedings, 2nd conference on scientific research in the National Parks; 1979 November 26-30; San Francisco, CA. Volume 7: Ecosystem Studies/Interdisciplinary Studies. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Serivce; The American Institute of Biological Sciences: 99-135. [19929]
  • 56. Kittredge, Joseph, Jr. 1938. The interrelations of habitat, growth rate, and associated vegetation in the aspen community of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ecological Monographs. 8(2): 152-246. [10356]
  • 6. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1976. Regeneration of red pine and white pine following wildfire and logging in northeastern Minnesota. Journal of Forestry. 74: 135-140. [7242]
  • 88. Scheller, Robert M.; Mladenoff, David J. 2002. Understory species patterns and diversity in old-growth and managed northern hardwood forests. Ecological Applications. 12(5): 1329-1343. [43257]
  • 92. Shafi, M. I.; Yarranton, G. A. 1973. Vegetational heterogeneity during a secondary (postfire) succession. Canadian Journal of Botany. 51: 73-90. [15191]
  • 94. Shirley, Hardy L. 1932. Light intensity in relation to plant growth in a virgin Norway pine forest. Journal of Agricultural Research. 44: 227-244. [10360]
  • 95. Shropshire, Christy; Wagner, Robert G.; Bell, F. Wayne; Swanton, Clarence J. 2001. Light attenuation by early successional plants of the boreal forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 31(5): 812-831. [41223]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: dichogamous, gynomonoecious, natural, root crown, wildland fire

Bigleaf aster regenerates by seed and vegetative means. Regeneration is largely by vegetative means from rhizomes and root crown sprouts [2,17,78,118].

Pollination: Plants in the genus Eurybia are insect pollinated [13].

Breeding system: Plants in the genus Eurybia are gynomonoecious and dichogamous [13]. Natural hybridization is common in the genus Eurybia [87].

The annual clonal expansion of bigleaf aster can be up to a horizontal distance equivalent to the mother plant's height [69,98].

Seed production: Buse and Bell [17] state that bigleaf aster produces large seed crops annually. Bigleaf aster thrives in high light, requiring a moderate amount of light for flowering and subsequent seed production [23,43]. It is frequently found in the vegetative state in densely shaded areas, and the flowering stems are typically not present [43,57,58]. Seed production in these habitats is probably not dependable unless disturbance opens the canopy, allowing increased light.

Seed dispersal: Seeds of bigleaf aster are widely dispersed by small mammals and wind [2,17,50,98].

Seed banking is poorly documented for this species. Ahlgren [7] stated that there were no bigleaf aster seeds found in soil taken from burned and unburned sites in Minnesota.

Germination: No information is available on this topic.

Seedling establishment/growth: A greenhouse study was done on intact soil blocks taken from an unburned site and adjacent burned site, 3 years after a spring wildland fire in old-growth red pine (Pinus resinosa) in northeastern Minnesota. Bigleaf aster seedlings did not emerge on the soil taken from the burned site. Ahlgren [7] attributes this to the numerous bigleaf aster sprouts in the area, which had not recovered sufficiently to produce seed. Bigleaf aster seedlings were found on soil samples taken from the unburned site, possibly from windblown seed of older plants that flowered nearby [7].

Asexual regeneration: Bigleaf aster reproduces by rhizomes or by sprouting from the root crown [17,78,118].

  • 118. Zavitkovski, J. 1976. Ground vegetation biomass, production, and efficiency of energy utilization in some northern Wisconsin forest ecosystems. Ecology. 57(4): 694-706. [61242]
  • 13. Bertin, Robert I.; Kerwin, Maureen A. 1998. Floral sex ratios and gynomonoecy in Aster (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany. 85(2): 235-244. [28442]
  • 17. Buse, L. J.; Bell, F. W. 1992. Critical silvics of selected crop and competitor species in northwestern Ontario. Thunder Bay, ON: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Northwestern Ontario Forest Technology Development Unit. 138 p. [30340]
  • 2. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1960. Some effects of fire on reproduction and growth of vegetation in northeastern Minnesota. Ecology. 41(3): 431-445. [207]
  • 23. Clark, James S. 1989. The relative importance of resource competition and disturbance in forests of northwestern Minnesota. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. 70(2): 82. Abstract. [60650]
  • 43. Good, Norma Frauendorf. 1963. Reproduction and productivity patterns in a pine-spruce-fir community in Itasca Park, Minnesota. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 90(5): 287-292. [61333]
  • 50. Heinselman, Miron L. 1981. Fire and succession in the conifer forests of northern North America. In: West, Darrell C.; Shugart, Herman H.; Botkin, Daniel B., eds. Forest succession: concepts and applications. New York: Springer-Verlag: 374-405. [29237]
  • 57. Kotar, John; Burger, Timothy L. 1996. A guide to forest communities and habitat types of central and southern Wisconsin. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, The Department of Forestry. 378 p. [29126]
  • 58. Kotar, John; Kovach, Joseph A.; Locey, Craig T. 1988. Field guide to forest habitat types of northern Wisconsin. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Department of Forestry; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 217 p. [11510]
  • 69. Matlack, Glenn R. 1994. Plant species in a mixed-history forest landscape in eastern North America. Ecology. 75(5): 1491-1502. [22581]
  • 7. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1979. Emergent seedlings on soil from burned and unburned red pine forest. Minnesota Forestry Research Notes No. 273. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, College of Forestry. 4 p. [16910]
  • 78. Outcalt, Kenneth Wayne; White, Edwin H. 1981. Phytosociological changes in understory vegetation following timber harvest in northern Minnesota. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 11: 175-183. [16301]
  • 87. Rosendahl, C. O.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1949. The asters of Minnesota: A floristic study. American Midland Naturalist. 42(2): 502-512. [62794]
  • 98. Singleton, Rhine; Gardescu, Sana; Marks, P. L.; Geber, Monica A. 2001. Forest herb colonization of postagricultural forests in central New York State, USA. Journal of Ecology. 89(3): 325-338. [62808]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, hemicryptophyte

RAUNKIAER [83] LIFE FORM:
Hemicryptophyte
Geophyte
  • 83. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: forb

Forb

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

Bigleaf aster maintains a low, leafy habit in closed forest. Flowering
increases dramatically after fire that opens the canopy [2,5,76,104]. The ability of bigleaf
aster to flourish on open-canopy sites with charred soils may be attributed to its ability to effectively
control stomatal conductance in open canopy situations (see Physiology)[89].
  • 104. Swain, Albert M. 1973. A history of fire and vegetation in northeastern Minnesota as recorded in lake sediments. Quaternary Research. 3(3): 383-396. [38931]
  • 2. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1960. Some effects of fire on reproduction and growth of vegetation in northeastern Minnesota. Ecology. 41(3): 431-445. [207]
  • 5. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1973. The changing forest: Part I. American Forests. 79(1): 40-43. [29684]
  • 76. Ohmann, Lewis F.; Grigal, David F. 1979. Early revegetation and nutrient dynamics following the 1971 Little Sioux Forest Fire in northeastern Minnesota. Forest Science Monograph 21. Bethesda, MD: The Society of American Foresters. 80 p. [6992]
  • 89. Schulz, Kurt E.; Adams, Michael S. 1995. Effect of canopy gap light environment of evaporative load and stomatal conductance on the temperate forest understory herb Aster macrophyllus (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany. 82(5): 630-637. [61243]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

Bigleaf aster shows fire tolerance [3,50].
  • 3. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1960. Vegetational development following burning in the northern coniferous forest of Minnesota. In: Proceedings, annual meeting of the Society of American Foresters; 1959 November 15-19; San Francisco, CA. Bethesda, MD: Society of American Foresters: 21-22. [29104]
  • 50. Heinselman, Miron L. 1981. Fire and succession in the conifer forests of northern North America. In: West, Darrell C.; Shugart, Herman H.; Botkin, Daniel B., eds. Forest succession: concepts and applications. New York: Springer-Verlag: 374-405. [29237]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

The following table provides flowering dates for bigleaf aster throughout its distribution.

State/Region/Province Anthesis Period
Georgia Late July to September [82]
Illinois August to October [107]
Tennessee Late July to September
Virginia Late July to September [82]
West Virginia Late July to September [82,103]
Adirondack Mountains, New York August [61]
Blue Ridge Mountains August to October [116]
New England Late July to September [91]
Nova Scotia July 15 to August [86]
Ontario Late summer [54]
  • 103. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2d ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 107. Swink, Floyd A. 1952. A phenological study of the flora of the Chicago region. The American Midland Naturalist. 48(3): 758-768. [55183]
  • 116. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 54. Jones, R. Keith; Pierpoint, Geoffrey; Wickware, Gregory M.; Jeglum, John K.; Arnup, Robert W.; Bowles, Jane M. 1983. Field guide to forest ecosystem classification for the Clay Belt, site region 3e. Toronto, ON: Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Forest Research Institute. 160 p. [16163]
  • 61. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376]
  • 82. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 86. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 91. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Eurybia macrophylla

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eurybia macrophylla

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Source: NatureServe

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Information on state-level protected status of plants in the United States is available at Plants Database.

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: cover, formation, hardwood, phase, radicle, tree

The literature reviewed below indicates positive and negative aspects of bigleaf aster
to considered when deciding how to manage bigleaf aster populations.

Disturbance:
Bigleaf aster responds favorably to other disturbances besides fire. Logging,
windthrow, and road construction have all had positive effects on bigleaf aster
populations [27,45,68,78,79,96,112]. When light, nutrients, and mineral soil become more
abundant, as is the case following tree canopy removal, bigleaf aster enters a
phase of "release" growth, increasing rapidly by vegetative
reproduction and seeds [16,17]. Powell and Brooks [81] report, however, that
bigleaf aster exhibited "significantly greater cover" (p<0.01) in the remaining standing forest
than in the disturbed areas 2 years after tornado blowdown on a mixed conifer/northern hardwood
forest in northern Minnesota.
Interference:
Bigleaf aster is a major competitor for light, water,
nutrients, and rooting space
[17,63,95]. The dense, mat-like underground
roots and rhizomes often exclude other species including conifer germinants
[17,39,63]. Bigleaf aster may be allelopathic for some plant species [17,29]. The leachates of bigleaf aster
foliage inhibited germination and early growth of white and black spruce [36]. In laboratory
studies bigleaf aster reduced height growth, dry weight of roots and shoots, and the formation of
secondary needles of red pine seedlings. It also reduced radicle elongation and
slightly hindered the germination of red pine seeds [74]. Allelopathic agents of
the Eurybia genus negatively affect black cherry and sugar maple [36].
Disease:
Bigleaf aster is an alternate host of jack pine needle rust (Coleosporeum
asterum) [8]. Its development may be slowed by jack pine needle rust infection,
reducing bigleaf aster cover [11,95].
Control:
Hexazinone can reduce bigleaf aster populations. When applied in June on sites in Ontario, it
controlled bigleaf aster for 2 years. An increase
in bigleaf aster abundance followed applications of glyphosate [17].
  • 11. Bell, F. Wayne; Ter-Mikaelian, Michael T.; Wagner, Robert G. 2000. Relative competitiveness of nine early-successional boreal forest species associated with planted jack pine and black spruce seedlings. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 30(5): 790-800. [40117]
  • 112. Voss, Edward G. 1996. Michigan flora. Part III: Dicots (Pyrolaceae--Compositae). Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 61/University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, MI: The Regents of the University of Michigan. 622 p. [30401]
  • 16. Brumelis, G.; Carleton, T. J. 1989. The vegetation of post-logged black spruce lowlands in central Canada. II. Understory vegetation. Journal of Applied Ecology. 26: 321-339. [7864]
  • 17. Buse, L. J.; Bell, F. W. 1992. Critical silvics of selected crop and competitor species in northwestern Ontario. Thunder Bay, ON: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Northwestern Ontario Forest Technology Development Unit. 138 p. [30340]
  • 27. Crow, T. R.; Mroz, G. D.; Gale, M. R. 1991. Regrowth and nutrient accumulations following whole-tree harvesting of a maple-oak forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 21: 1305-1315. [16600]
  • 29. Curtis, John T. 1959. Southern forests--xeric. In: Curtis, John T. The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 132-155. [60519]
  • 36. Fisher, Richard F. 1980. Allelopathy: a potential cause of regeneration failure. Journal of Forestry. 78: 1980. [9049]
  • 39. Frelich, Lee E.; Machado, Jose-Luis; Reich, Peter B. 2003. Fine-scale environmental variation and structure of understorey plant communities in two old-growth pine forests. Journal of Ecology. 91: 283-293. [44083]
  • 45. Haeussler, Sybille; Bergeron, Yves. 2004. Range of variability in boreal aspen plant communities after wildfire and clear-cutting. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 34(2): 274-288. [48445]
  • 63. Lee, Shun Ching. 1924. Factors controlling forest succession at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. Botanical Gazette. 78(2): 129-174. [41396]
  • 68. Mallik, A. U.; Bell, F. W.; Gong, Y. 1997. Regeneration behavior of competing plants after clear cutting: implications for vegetation management. Forest Ecology and Management. 95: 1-10. [27866]
  • 74. Norby, R. J.; Kozlowski, T. T. 1980. Allelopathic potential of ground cover species on Pinus resinosa seedlings. Plant and Soil. 57(2): 363-374. [48498]
  • 78. Outcalt, Kenneth Wayne; White, Edwin H. 1981. Phytosociological changes in understory vegetation following timber harvest in northern Minnesota. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 11: 175-183. [16301]
  • 79. Palmer, Michael W.; McAlister, Suzanne D.; Arevalo, Jose Ramon; DeCoster, James K. 2000. Changes in the understory during 14 years following catastrophic windthrow in two Minnesota forests. Journal of Vegetation Science. 11(6): 841-854. [42541]
  • 8. Anderson, Ralph L.; Anderson, Neil A. 1978. Alternate host of jack pine needle rust in northern Minnesota. Research Note NC-237. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 3 p. [62770]
  • 81. Powell, Roger A.; Brooks, William S. 1981. Small mammal changes in populations following tornado blowdown in northern mixed forest. Journal of Mammalogy. 62(2): 397-400. [61244]
  • 95. Shropshire, Christy; Wagner, Robert G.; Bell, F. Wayne; Swanton, Clarence J. 2001. Light attenuation by early successional plants of the boreal forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 31(5): 812-831. [41223]
  • 96. Sidhu, S. S. 1973. Early effects of burning and logging in pine-mixed woods. I. Frequency and biomass of minor vegetation. Inf. Rep. PS-X-46. Chalk River, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Petawawa Forest Experiment Station. 47 p. [7901]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is partial sun to medium shade, moist to dry-mesic conditions, and soil consisting of rich loam or sandy loam.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

White-tailed deer commonly graze bigleaf aster [10,22,52]. Bigleaf aster is also a component of the summer diet of moose on Isle Royale National Park [72].

Palatability/nutritional value: No information is available on this topic.

Cover value: Bigleaf aster may be an important habitat component for ruffed grouse. It is an important ground cover species in upland forest types of northern Minnesota, where ruffed grouse are common [67].

  • 10. Balgooyen, Christine P.; Waller, Donald M. 1995. The use of Clintonia borealis and other indicators to gauge impacts of white-tailed deer on plant communities in northern Wisconsin, USA. Natural Areas Journal. 15(4): 308-318. [26493]
  • 22. Christensen, Earl M. 1963. Herbaceous vegetation in lowland winter habitats of white-tailed deer in northern Wisconsin. Ecology. 44(2): 411-414. [62775]
  • 52. Irwin, Larry L. 1985. Foods of moose, Alces alces, and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, on a burn in boreal forest. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 99(2): 240-245. [4513]
  • 67. Magnus, Lester T. 1949. Cover type use of the ruffed grouse in relation to forest management on the Cloquet Forest Experiment Station. Flicker. 21(2): 29-44. [16207]
  • 72. Murie, Adolph. 1934. The moose of Isle Royale. Miscellaneous Publication No. 25. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. 56 p. [21394]

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Wikipedia

Eurybia macrophylla

Eurybia macrophylla, commonly known as the Bigleaf Aster, Largeleaf Aster or Largeleaf or Bigleaf Wood Aster, is an herbaceous perennial in the composite family that was formerly treated in the genus Aster. It is native to eastern North America where it stretches from the south of the boreal forests of Canada through the northeastern deciduous and mixed forests of New England and south along the Blue Ridge Mountain through the United States. The flowers appear in the late summer to early fall and show ray florets that are usually either a deep lavender or violet, but sometimes white, and disc florets that are cream-coloured or light yellow, becoming purple as they mature. It is one of the parent species of the hybrid Eurybia × herveyi.

Contents

Distribution and habitat[edit]

E. macrophylla is native to the eastern United States and Canada. In the latter country it can be found in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. In the United States it can be found in all states east of and including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee, but excluding states south of North Carolina. It may also be present in Mississippi. The plant has also been introduced outside of its native range into northern Europe. It is most often encountered at 0 to 1300 metre elevations in moist to dry soils in association with hemlock-northern hardwood, beech-maple or pine forests, Appalachian spruce-fir forests, as well as with aspen, pine or open spruce woodlands. It can also be found in thickets, clearings or along shaded roadsides.[2]

Uses[edit]

The large, thick young leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens.[3] The Algonquin people of Quebec use the leaves in this way.[4]

The Iroquois use the root as a blood medicine, and they also use a compound decoction of the roots to loosen the bowels to treat venereal disease.[5] The Ojibwa bathe their heads with an infusion of this plant to treat headaches.[6] They also smoke it as hunting charm to attract deer.[7] They also consume the young leaves of the plant as both food and medicine,[8] and they also use the roots to make soup.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NatureServe (2006), "Eurybia macrophylla", NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life, Version 6.1., Arlington, Virginia, retrieved 2007-06-13 
  2. ^ Brouillet, Luc (2006), "Eurybia macrophylla", in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+, Flora of North America 20, New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 375 
  3. ^ Thieret, John W. (2001), National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, New York: Random House, p. 369, ISBN 0-375-40232-2 
  4. ^ Black, Meredith Jean 1980 Algonquin Ethnobotany: An Interpretation of Aboriginal Adaptation in South Western Quebec. Ottawa. National Museums of Canada. Mercury Series Number 65 (p. 108)
  5. ^ Herrick, James William 1977 Iroquois Medical Botany. State University of New York, Albany, PhD Thesis (p. 462)
  6. ^ Smith, Huron H. 1932 Ethnobotany of the Ojibwe Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of Milwaukee 4:327-525 (p. 363)
  7. ^ Smith, p.429
  8. ^ a b Smith, p.398
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Notes

Comments

Eurybia macrophylla, a species of the northeastern deciduous or mixed forest, extends north into the southern boreal forest of Ontario-Quebec, and south along the Blue Ridges into northern Georgia. It becomes rare at the western edge of its range (Manitoba, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri). The plant has been reported from Mississippi but no voucher was seen.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The scientific name of bigleaf aster is Eurybia macrophylla (L.) Cass. (Asteraceae) [38,55,73].
Hervey's aster (E. × herveyi (Gray) Nesom) is a hybrid between
bigleaf aster and eastern showy aster (E. spectabilis (Ait.) Nesom) [62,90].
When information specific to bigleaf aster is not available, information
on the genus Eurybia is given.
  • 38. Flora of North America Association. 2006. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 55. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]
  • 62. Lamboy, Warren F. 1988. The status of Aster commixtus and a new species of Aster from the southeastern United States. Systematic Botany. 13(2): 187-195. [62773]
  • 73. Nesom, G. L. 1995. Review of the taxonomy of Aster sensu lato (Asteraceae: Astereae), emphasizing the New World species. Phytologia. 77: 141-297. [54820]
  • 90. Semple, John C.;Brouillet Luc. 1980. A synopsis of North American asters: the subgenera, sections and subsections of Aster and Lasallea. American Journal of Botany. 67(7): 1010-1026. [62802]

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Common Names

bigleaf aster

large-leaved aster

big-leaved aster

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Synonyms

Aster macrophyllus L. [42,71,82,86,91,103,112,116]
  • 103. Strausbaugh, P. D.; Core, Earl L. 1977. Flora of West Virginia. 2d ed. Morgantown, WV: Seneca Books, Inc. 1079 p. [23213]
  • 112. Voss, Edward G. 1996. Michigan flora. Part III: Dicots (Pyrolaceae--Compositae). Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 61/University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, MI: The Regents of the University of Michigan. 622 p. [30401]
  • 116. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908]
  • 42. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 71. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 82. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 86. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 91. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]

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