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Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. foliaceum (Alpine leafybract aster)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. foliaceum

Symphyotrichum foliaceum (Lindl. ex DC.) G.L. Nesom var. foliaceum

Alpine Leafybract Aster, Leafy Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus, Aster foliaceus var. sublinearis


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A widespread and variable species, Leafy Aster typically grows to almost 2 ft. with entire or slightly toothed, alternate leaves. The upper leaves are sessile and clasping, while the lower have long petioles. The flower heads may be solitary but are usually in clusters. Purple rays surround yellow-orange centers.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


Canada: AB , BC , NB , NS
Native Distribution: AK to CA, e. to MT & NM; also Lab. & e. Que., extending s. to alpine & subalpine areas of n. New England
Native Habitat: Moist, wooded places

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist soils.


Use Wildlife: Attracts orange sulfur, red admiral, comma, and skipper butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Start from seeds or pieces of the root crown.
Commercially Avail: yes

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. foliaceum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. foliaceum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. foliaceum


Record Modified: 2023-01-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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