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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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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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