Symphyotrichum puniceum (Purple-stemmed Aster)
|Also known as:||Red-stem Aster, Swamp Aster|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist soil; swamps, along shores, edges of woods, thickets|
|Bloom season:||August - October|
|Plant height:||1 to 7 feet|
|USDA PLANTS database:||Minnesota county distribution map|
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Flowers are in an open cluster on branching stems near the top of the plant. Individual flowers are from 1 to 1½ inches across with 30 to 60 slender, pale violet to blue-violet petals (ray flowers) and a yellow center disk that turns reddish purple with maturity. The bracts are very narrow and peel back away from the flower.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are dark green, to 10 inches long and 1¼ inch wide, tapering to a sharp point at the tip, with fine widely spaced teeth and a prominent center vein. Attachment is alternate; leaves clasp the main stem and those near the base of the plant may drop off by flowering time. The texture is bristly.
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Photos taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Shoreview, MN August-September 2008
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?