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Symphyotrichum boreale facts for kids

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Symphyotrichum boreale
Symphyotrichum boreale (21508779481).jpg
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Genus:
Symphyotrichum
Species:
boreale
Synonyms
  • Aster borealis
  • Aster junciformis

Symphyotrichum boreale (syn. Aster borealis) is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to North America. Common names include rush aster, northern bog aster and slender white aster.

Description

Symphyotrichum boreale NRCS drawing
Botanical illustration of S. boreale

Symphyotrichum boreale is a perennial herbaceous species between 13 and 85 cm tall. The leaves, stem, and overall plant form are slender, and it produces long rhizomes. The inflorescence consists of one to several composite flowers. The ray florets are white to pale purple and the disc florets are cream or pale yellow-coloured, becoming purplish.

Taxonomy

Symphyotrichum boreale was formerly included in the large genus Aster as Aster borealis. However, this broad circumscription of Aster is polyphyletic and the North American asters are now mostly classified in Symphyotrichum and several other genera.

Hybrids between this species and Symphyotrichum puniceum have been recorded, and are called Symphyotrichum √ólongulum.

Distribution and habitat

Symphyotrichum boreale is native to northern North America from Alaska to Newfoundland, and south to Colorado and West Virginia. It is found in wet, calcareous habitats including fens, marshes, swamps and wet meadows.

Ecology

In addition to vegetative spread via rhizomes, dispersal is accomplished by wind-blown seed.

The roots are colonised by fungi including arbuscular mycorrhiza and dark septate endophytes. The sac fungus Erysiphe cichoracearum, which causes a powdery mildew, is also known from this species.

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