[Asters Found East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]
Cusick's Aster, Cusick's American Aster, Leafy Aster
Synonyms: Aster cusickii, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. cusickii, Aster foliaceus var. lyallii, Symphyotrichum 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.
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 cusickii may be found in the Blue and Wallowa Mts. of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington.
Cusick's aster as seen along Summit Drive north of Ruckel, Umatilla National Forest........July 24, 2012.
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.
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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 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 in bloom along the Lick Creek Trail #231, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.......August 11, 2018.
Cusick's aster as seen in meadows along the East Fork Lostine River adjacent to Lost Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness........August 4, 2016.