Ontario Aster, Bottomland Aster
(Symphyotrichum ontarionis var. ontarionis)
Symphyotrichum ontarionis (1) (Updated on 12-26-21 from Plants of the World Online): Aster ontarionis Wiegand
Synonyms of Symphyotrichum ontarionis var. ontarionsis (7) (Updated on 12-26-21 from POWO): Aster diffusus var. thyrsoideus A.Gray, Aster lateriflorus var. thyrsoideus E.Sheld., Aster missouriensis var. thyrsoideus Wiegand, Aster ontariensis Wiegand, Aster pantotrichus S.F.Blake, Aster pantotrichus var. thyrsoideus S.F.Blake, Aster tradescanti var. thyrsoideus (A.Gray) B.Boivin
Symphyotrichum ontarionis (Wiegand) G.L.Nesom is the accepted Scientific name for the Ontario Aster. It was named and described as such by Guy L. Nesom in Phytologia in 1995. It was first named Aster ontarionis by Karl McKay Wiegand in Rhodora in 1928.
Accepted Infraspecific Names (2) (Updated on 12-26-21 from POWO): Symphyotrichum ontarionis var. glabratum (Semple) Brouillet & Bouchard, *Symphyotrichum ontarionis var. ontarionis (autonym). *When infraspecific taxon are named, an autonym (“type-specimen”) is automatically generated whose description is closest to the (original) species. All have their own list of synonyms… Symphyotrichum ontarionis var. ontarionis is the species found in Missouri where I live.
The genus, Symphyotrichum Nees, was named and described as such by Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck in Genera et Species Asterearum in 1832.
As of 12-26-21 when tis page was updated, Plants the World Online by Kew lists 97 species in the Symphyotrichum genus. It is a member of the plant family Asteraceae with 1,678 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO. The number of genera in this family fluctuates quite often.
The above distribution map for Symphyotrichum ontarionis is from the USDA Plants Database. Areas in green are where the species is native. The map on Plants of the World Online is somewhat different. You can click on the link to POWO to view the map for Symphyotrichum ontarionis var. glabratum. The USDA Plants Database still lists it as a synonym…
The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER POSITIVE ID.
I found this plant growing in an area behind the pond and the fence in the back pasture on my farm. The same day, I had found another species I was very confused about growing on the banks of the drainage ditch fo the pond. I posted photos of both plants on iNaturalist. I thought this one was likely Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (Panicled Aster) but that turned out to probably be incorrect. I had contacted a member on iNaturalist who referred me to another member (both curators) who is good with the Symphyotrichum genus. She agreed with my thoughts about the other one being S. lateriflorum (Calico Aster) and suggested this one is S. ontarionis (Ontario Aster). I agreed and they both became Research Grade. The member also said it could be an aberrant S. lateriflorum. I will have to eep an eye on both in 2022.
I apologize for not writing descriptions at the moment. I am busy updating plant pages and writing new pages for wildflowers I identified over the summer (plus adding more photos to previously published pages). Writing descriptions in my own words can be a lengthy process, so I decided to just make new pages and come back later and write the descriptions. This is a winter project but sometimes I get behind and it takes longer. I need to continually update because plant names change, the number of species and genera fluctuates, and I want to be as accurate as I can. There are several very good websites below that can help with a positive ID. We are all a work in progress.
There were still quite a few long, narrow leaves on this plant but the upper leaves are completely different than those on the Symphyotrichum lateriflorum along the ditch… That doesn’t mean they still can’t be the same species.
Members of the Symphyotrichum genus can be quite complicated. I “think” I have identified six species and there is another one or two I haven’t quite figured out…
Like I said, I will keep an eye on this one in 2022…
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at email@example.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
FLORA OF NORTH AMERICA (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂