May. 3, 2021
Simmond's aster, Symphyotrichum simmondsii
Simmond's aster likes damp soil. Simmond's is octoploid. 64 chromosomes? Why would it do that? Polyploidy is one of the principal ways organisms, particularly plants, evolve. Simmond's aster, with its eight sets of chromosomes, almost certainly cannot be pollinated by the plants it descended from. There may even be species out the with more, or even less chromosomes that descended from Simmond's. Maybe the ancestral plants liked dry soil. This chromosomal change could have been the mechanism for the adaptation to damp soil. Polyploidy also occurs in specialized tissues. Your liver has a tough job to do, and is enabled by having extra sets of chromosomes. Simmond's aster grows in FL, NC, and SC. Polk Co FL, 10/19/15. Aster family, Asteraceae.