Apr. 15, 2018

late purple aster, Symphyotrichum patens

On the road looking for wildflowers. A beautiful patch of purple goes by. There's actually a good place to stop, a two-track leaving the highway into the woods. A quick late day stop before pressing on toward my goal. Then a week later I can slow down, and try to figure out what it is. It comes down to late purple or Georgia aster. They're very close. I really want it to be the rare Georgia. The patch looks like it should be the root-spreading Georgia. But does it have the rolled leaf edges? Are the ray flowers long enough? And it's probably just a little too far northwest to be in the Georgia range. So settle on late purple. Either way, it's an exceptionally beautiful aster. Late purple aster grows in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV. Field CO GA, 10/18/15.