(Willdenow) G. L. Nesom, Phytologia. 77: 289. 1995.
Oldfield or frost weed or white oldfield or hairy or hairy white oldfield aster, aster poilu
Willdenow, Sp. Pl. 3: 2025. 1803;
cespitose, (5—)20—120(—150+) cm; with stout, branched caudices, sometimes long-rhizomatous.
1—5+, ascending to erect (straight, stout), glabrate to hirsuto-hispid or pilose, sometimes glabrous or hairy in lines (var.
thin, margins ciliate, apices acute to acuminate, mucronate, faces glabrous or ± hirsute (particularly on abaxial midveins); basal withering by flowering (new vernal rosettes developing at flowering), petiolate to subpetiolate (petioles winged, ciliate, bases sheathing), blades oblanceolate or obovate to spatulate, 10—60 × 5—15 mm, bases attenuate, margins sparsely crenate-serrate (mostly apically), apices obtuse to rounded; proximal cauline usually deciduous at flowering (often with axillary clusters of small leaves), petiolate or subpetiolate to subsessile (petioles narrowly to broadly winged, clasping), blades elliptic-oblanceolate or -oblong to linear-lanceolate or -oblanceolate, 40—102 × 5—25 mm, progressively reduced distally, bases attenuate to cuneate, ± clasping, margins entire to serrate, softly ciliate, apices attenuate, hyaline-spinulose; distal sessile, blades lance-oblong to linear-lanceolate to linear or linear-oblanceolate or linear-subulate, 10—100 × 1—8 mm, progressively reduced distally, branch leaves abruptly smaller, bases cuneate, margins entire or serrulate.
in open, leafy, often pyramidal, paniculiform arrays, branches divaricate or branches 10 cm or less ascending, often arched and secund, sometimes racemiform.
5—30(—50) mm, progressively shorter distally, glabrous or densely hispid, bracts 7—25+, appressed to ascending, sometimes ± spreading, linear to subulate, glabrate, ciliate or not, mucronate to apiculate, ± grading into phyllaries.
campanulate to cylindro-campanulate, (2.5—)3.5—5.1(—6.5) mm.
in 4—6 series, appressed or slightly spreading, oblong-lanceolate (outer) to linear (innermost) , unequal (rarely subequal), bases indurate
/ 2 —
/ 5 , margins hyaline, scarious, erose, ± ciliolate distally, green zones lanceolate to lance-rhombic, apices acute or acuminate, involute, spinulose, faces glabrous or sparsely hirsutulous.
(10—)16—28(—38); corollas usually white, rarely pinkish or bluish, laminae (4—)5.4—7.5(—11) × (0.4—)0.8—1.3(—1.7) mm.
(13—)17—39(—67); corollas light yellow becoming reddish purple or brown, (2.5—)3—4.1(—5.5) mm, tubes much shorter than narrowly funnelform throats, lobes lanceolate, (0.4—)0.6—0.8(—1) mm.
whitish or gray, oblong-obovoid, sometimes ± compressed, 1—1.5 × 0.5—0.7 mm, 4—6-nerved, faces sparsely strigillose;
white, 3.5—4 mm.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora): e North America.
The ecology and cytogeography of
were summarized by J. G. Chmielewski and J. C. Semple (2001b). The species is often confused with
, which inhabits the same kinds of open, prairie-like habitats; the latter can be distinguished by its smaller heads and spine-tipped phyllary apices. Because of that, the name
has been misapplied often in floras and in the horticultural trade.