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Heath Aster

Symphyotrichum ericoides (L.) Nesom.

(formerly Aster ericoides L.)

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family

▲  mature plant

▲ ▼  flowers

Heath Aster:

·         simple perennial, native weed in the Aster family (Asteraceae)

·         produces numerous small, white daisy-like flowers in mid-late autumn

·         has narrow, lanceolate to oblanceolate leaves; flower heads have 8-20 petals, and bracts below inflorescence end in a short, thickened point

·         similar white heath aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum) flowers have almost linearl leaves among the inflorescences,and flowers have slightly narrower petals, and more petals per inflorescence (15-35) and the bracts below the inflorescence taper to a long, narrow point

·         similar bushy aster (Symphyotrichum dumosum) has very tiny, scale-like leaves on stems so that the stems almost appear leafless, and the flower petals are pinkish

·         similar to eastern daisy fleabane, or common fleabane except white heath aster has more linear to needle-like leaves on flowering branches and flowers on white heath aster have fewer petals and the center yellow disk is smaller and more globe-shaped

·         reproduces readily by seed

·         found in fields, pastures, roadsides

·         Control:

o   grazing, cutting and mowing somewhat effective (can adapt and bloom under very short cutting height), tilling

o   chemical control mostly by postemergent herbicides applied before flowering begins


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