Jan. 17, 2020

heath aster, Symphyotrichum ericoides

Heath is fairly easy to recognize among all those white asters. The bracts on the flower heads curl outward, and those heads are smaller than most others. I know one place in the county to find it, in the Irish Hills. This particular day, almost as soon as I got there, I was accosted by a guy wearing military camo and carrying a sidearm. I hadn't realized it was a protected species! Actually, it turned out I was in Michigan Militia territory. I was treated to some unusual opinions, and kept mine to myself. I didn't relish the prospect of getting chased off Prospect Hill. And I got this shot. Heath aster grows in fields and borders in every state except AK, CA, FL, HI, LA, NC, NV, and SC, and in AB, BC, MB, NS, NT, ON, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 9/19/10. Aster family, Asteraceae,