Willowleaf Aster, Willow Aster, Rodney’s Aster, Wild Aster
Synonyms of Symphyotrichum praealtum (34)(Updated on 11-2-21 from Plants of the World Online): Aster carneus Torr. & A.Gray ex Benth., Aster carneus var. subasper (Lindl.) Torr. & A.Gray, Aster coerulescens DC., Aster coerulescens var. angustior (Wiegand) Fernald, Aster coerulescens var. subasper (Lindl. ex Hook.) Fernald, Aster coerulescens var. typicus Cronquist, Aster eminens Willd., Aster lanceolatus Nutt., Aster nebraskensis Britton, Aster novi-belgii var. litoreus A.Gray, Aster obliquus Nees, Aster praealtus Poir., Aster praealtus var. angustior Wiegand, Aster praealtus var. coerulescens (DC.) A.G.Jones, Aster praealtus var. imbricatior Wiegand, Aster praealtus var. nebraskensis (Britton) Wiegand, Aster praealtus var. subasper Wiegand, Aster praealtus var. texicola Wiegand, Aster rigidulus Desf., Aster robustus Nees, Aster salicifolius Aiton, Aster salicifolius f. coerulescens (DC.) Voss, Aster salicifolius f. obliquus (Nees) Voss, Aster salicifolius var. stenophyllus E.S.Burgess, Aster salicifolius var. subasper (Lindl. ex Hook.) A.Gray, Aster salicifolius f. subasper (Lindl. ex Hook.) Voss, Aster subasper Lindl., Aster virgatus Nees, Symphyotrichum novi-belgii var. litoreum (A.Gray) G.L.Nesom, Symphyotrichum praealtum subsp. angustior (Wiegand) A.Haines, Symphyotrichum praealtum var. angustior (Wiegand) G.L.Nesom, Symphyotrichum praealtum var. nebraskense (Britton) G.L.Nesom, Symphyotrichum praealtum var. subasperum (Lindl.) G.L.Nesom, Symphyotrichum praealtum var. texicola (Wiegand) G.L.Nesom
Symphyotrichum praealtum (Poir.) G.L.Nesom is the accepted scientific name for the Willowleaf Aster. The species was named and described as such by Guy L. Nesom in Phytologia in 1995. It was first named and described as Aster praealtus by Jean Louis Marie Poiret in Encyclopedie Methodique in 1811.
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 11–2-21 when this page was added, Plants the World Online by Kew lists 95 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 distribution map for Symphyotrichum lateriflorum is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map for North America above Mexico from the USDA Plants Database is similar and also includes New Mexico and Colorado but not Manitoba and Quebec in Canada. Well, a lot of maps online are different and it would only be confusing to check them all out. This genus is very difficult…
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.
There are a couple of good-sized colonies of Symphyotrichum praealtum growing along the south side of the hayfield. The area had been growing up in blackberry briars, Japanese Honeysuckle, and small trees for several years so it was all cut down in the fall of 2020. That allowed a lot of wildflowers to grow I had not noticed before. The briars grew back, of course, but I was able to identify several species in the meantime.
The Synphyotrichum genus is large and there are many species in Missouri. Some look a lot alike and may only have one or two features that distinguish them from one another. I use iNaturalist (drag and drop) to help identify wildflowers then I read about their suggestions on other websites. I came to the conclusion this particular species is Symphyotrichum praealtum commonly known as the Willowleaf Aster, Willow Aster, Rodney’s Aster, and Wild Aster. I am sure there are more and some of the common names are shared with other species.
I apologize for not writing descriptions for the flowers, stems, and leaves at the moment. I have photos I took over the summer to add to their proper pages, new pages to add, and updates to make. It is a wintertime project but I do get behind. There are several links at the bottom of the page that can help with ID.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
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. 🙂