Aster subulatus Michaux var. ligulatus Shinn

                                                                           =Aster exilis  

                                                                          Asteraceae (SunflowerFamily)




Slender Aster 

                                     September Photo


Plant Characteristics:  Slender erect glabrous annual 3-15 dm. high, openly much branched above; lvs. linear to oblanceolate, 5-12 cm. long, mostly entire, 2-10 mm. wide, 1 nerved, the uppermost bractlike; panicle diffuse, rather narrow; heads numerous; invol. 4-6 mm. high, 3-4 seriate; phyllaries lance-linear, attenuate, with translucent midrib and hyaline margin; rays light pink to purple, many, scarcely exceeding the scanty pappus.


Habitat:  Common in wet, often alkaline places below 500 ft.; many Plant Communities; Imperial Co., cismontane s. Calif., Santa Cruz Id., to n. Calif. and Atlantic Coast.  July-Oct.


Name:  Greek, aster, a star, from the radiate heads of the fls.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 119).  Latin, exilis, small, thin, slender, probably referring to the stems.  (Jaeger 99). Latin, subulatus, to lift up, elevate.  (Jaeger 251).  Possibly referring to the erect growth of the plant.  (my comment).  Latin, ligula, a little tongue.  (Jaeger 141).  The portion of the plant referred to in the variety name ligulatus is unclear to me.  (my comment).


General:  Common in the study area.  Photographed specimens are from the Delhi Ditch and along the road from the Newporter Inn to San Joaquin Hills Dr. One of the native halophytes found in Upper Newport Bay.  I have seen plants within the tidal zone of the Delhi Ditch. (my comments).      Aster species have been known to cause hay fever and asthma, also dermatitis.  (Fuller 371,379).      Some 250 or more species, centered in North America, but widely distributed in temperate regions.  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 119).


Text Ref:  Hickman, Ed. 209; Munz, Calif. Flora 1201; Munz, Flora So. Calif. 122; Roberts 9.

Photo Ref:  Sept. 2 83 #12,13; Oct 2 86 # 2,3,4; June-July 87 # 7,8.

Identity: by R. De Ruff.

First Found:  September 1983.

Computer Ref:  Plant Data 148.

Have plant specimen.

Last edit 6/5/04.


                                        October Photo