[Asters Found East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster

Symphyorichum cusickii

Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. cusickii

Close-up sideview of the flower heads of Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

The photo above shows a close-up of the "leafy" involucre and flower head of Cusick's aster as seen in meadows along the Hat Pt. Road at Saddle Creek Campground in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.........July 11, 2007. Note the spreading, narrow, leafy bracts.

Characteristics:

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.


Habitat:

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.


Range:

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 cusickii may be found in the Blue and Wallowa Mts. of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington.


Close-up view of the flower heads of Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

Close-up sideview of the leafy bracts and flower head of  Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Close-up sideview of the flower heads and upper stem leaves of Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

A stem leaf of Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

Cusick's aster as seen along Summit Drive north of Ruckel, Umatilla National Forest........July 24, 2012.

Close-up of a flower head of Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Stem leaves of Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

Close-up images of the flower head and stem leaves of Cusick's aster as seen in meadows along the Hat Pt. Road at Saddle Creek Campground in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area...........July 11, 2007.

Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

Cusick's aster seen in bloom along the Deadman Canyon Trail #1869 about one mile and a half north of the trailhead near Fish Lake, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.......August 13, 2018.

Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

Cusick's aster in bloom along the Bonny Lakes Trail #1802 about half a mile east of Bonny Lakes, Eagle Cap Wilderness......August 12, 2018.

Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii) - Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

Cusick's aster in bloom along the Lick Creek Trail #231, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.......August 11, 2018.

Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster: Symphyorichum cusickii (Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyorichum foliaceum var. cusickii)

Cusick's aster as seen in meadows along the East Fork Lostine River adjacent to Lost Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness........August 4, 2016.

Paul Slichter