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Machaeranthera bigelovii (Bigelow's tansyaster)
Anderson, Wynn

Machaeranthera bigelovii

Machaeranthera bigelovii (A. Gray) Greene

Bigelow's Tansyaster, Sticky Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Dieteria bigelovii

USDA Symbol: mabi

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Leafy branched stems topped by flower heads with many narrow, bright reddish-lavender or purple rays surrounding a yellow central disc.

These wildflowers of late summer often color entire banks and roadsides with vibrant purple. In the afternoon, as flower heads become shaded, the rays fold upward in the "sleep position." Sticky Aster resembles true asters (Aster) but has spiny or divided leaves.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AZ , CO , NM , NV , OK , UT , WY
Native Distribution: Western Colorado south to New Mexico and Arizona.
Native Habitat: Plains and openings in coniferous forests.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

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

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Machaeranthera bigelovii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Machaeranthera bigelovii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Machaeranthera bigelovii


Record Modified: 2022-12-29
Research By: TWC Staff

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