[Asters: The Genera Canadanthus, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Oreostemma and Symphyotrichum Found East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]
Leafy Aster, Leafybract Aster, Parry's Aster
Symphyorichum foliaceum var. parryi
Synonyms: Aster ascendens var. parryi, Aster diabolicus, Aster foliaceus var. canbyi, Aster foliaceus var. frondeus, Aster foliaceus var. parryi, Aster foliaceus var. subpetiolatus, Aster frondeus
The photo above shows a close-up of the upper stem leaves and flower heads of leafy aster as seen in meadows along forest service road #3521, Wenatchee National Forest..........August 13, 2009. Note the spreading, narrow, leafy involucral bracts.
Leafy aster is a perennial wildflower with one to several upright, ascending
or decumbent stems up to 120 cm long. The leaves have entire margins with the
lower leaves oblanceolate to obovate in shape with petioles while the upper
leaves are sessile and lanceolate to ovate in shape. The bases of all the leaves
noticeably clasp the stems. The upper leaves vary from 5-12 cm long and 1-4
cm wide. The lower leaves are often deciduous by flowering time.
The inflorescence of one to several flower heads is a corymb with the involucral
bracts ranging from large and leaf-like to small and arranged like shingles.
The violet, blue, or rose-purple rays number 15 to 60, each measuring 1-2 cm
long. The central disk flowers are yellowish.
The numerous, thin ray flowers; the large, leaf-like
bracts supporting the flower heads; and the clasping leaf bases are keys to
identifying this species of aster.
Leafy aster is a wildflower of moist open places and open woods from moderate
elevation to near timberline in the mountains. Variety parryi may be
found along streams and in other wet places in the mountains.
Leafy aster is found from northern British Columbia south through
Washington and Oregon to California, and eastward to the Rocky Mts. where it
may be found between Montana and New Mexico.
Variety parryi may be found from the Cascades of northern Washington
south to central California and east to Alberta, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
Close-up of the leafy involucral bracts of leafy aster as seen along forest service road #3521, Wenatchee National Forest.........August 13, 2009.
The upper stem leaves and flower heads of leafy aster as seen at left along Forest Service Road #16 at Big Creek in Logan Valley, Malheur National Forest.........August 20, 2011. Note the stem leaves which are narrowly oblanceolate and greater than 1 cm wide and the flower heads which are terminal on the side branches. The similar Eaton's aster is also found at this location. It has numerous flower heads (including some scattered along the nodes along each side branch) and leaves about 1 cm wide. The photo at right shows the lower leaves of leafy aster as seen in vernally moist wetlands adjacent to the vault toilet at Mud Creek Campground, Fremont-Winema National Forest.......August 3, 2020.
Additional close-up photos of leafy aster as seen at a large riparian meadow along the south side of the North Loop Road about one mile downhill from the Kiger Gorge Overlook, Steens Mountain, Harney County, Oregon.........September 2, 2011. These individuals have purple-tipped bracts (like var. apricus
) but lack purple bract margins, and the plants are much taller than the 25-30 cm of var. apricus
. The similar western mountain aster
) is also found at this location, but it has fewer flower heads (usually), narrower (less than 7 mm) and fewer middle and lower stem leaves, numerous and narrower ray flowers, and middle and inner involucral with white margins.
Leafy aster as seen along the Round Mountain Trail #805, Ochoco National Forest...........August 9, 2014.
Leafy aster as seen along the Slide Basin Trail #372, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.........August 11, 2015.
Leafybract aster as seen along the slopes uphill to the east of Lost Lake Fen, Okanogan National Forest..........July 12, 2015.
Lower stem leaf of leafy aster. Hell Roaring Meadows, Mt. Adams................September
Upper stem leaf of leafy aster. Hell Roaring Meadows, Mt. Adams..........September
8, 2001. Note the clasping base to the leaf where it attaches to the stem.
Flower head of leafy aster. Hell Roaring Meadows, Mt. Adams..........September