Blue or Purple Flowers
Six or More Petals )
Composite Family (Compositae)
Season: July to September
Habitat: Montane/Occassionally Higher
Height: Up to 70 cm
Description: Asters are a large group of flowers which can be difficult to tell from each other, not to mention the similar fleabanes. The purple asters have pink to purple petal-like ray florets surrounding a yellow centre. The ray florets may vary greatly in number from widely spaced to tightly packed. The best way to tell the difference between asters and fleabanes is to look beneath the flower. Where the flower joins the stem, there will be several layers of scaly bracts on asters while fleabanes have only one.
Showy aster (A. conspicuus) is our most common purple aster. It is quite large, with large, sharply toothed, alternate leaves. The stem branches several times terminating in a flat-topped cluster of aster flowers. The petal-like ray florets are sparse, not densely packed like the fleabanes, and they lack any teeth at the tip which the similar showy fleabane exhibit.
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