Dec. 29, 2016

New England aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Up to now I've neglected the aster family. What better way to start than with an aster. This one is the showiest aster species in our region. The aster family has the largest number of flowers with petals. And perhaps the largest number of flowers on a plant. What we see here are flower heads that combine a great number of small flowers. It's a good strategy for producing large numbers of seeds, and explains why there are so many successful species. The family includes many familiar plants, including sunflowers, thistles and bachelor buttons. This one occurs in fields and borders in AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY, BC, NB, MB, NS, ON, and QC. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 9/19/10