Comprehensive Description

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Drummond's Aster (Aster drummondii) is part of a complex of similar species involving Arrow-Leaved Aster (Aster sagittifolius), Heart-Leaved Aster (Aster cordifolius), and White Arrowleaf Aster (Aster urophyllus). There has been a history of taxonomic instability involving the interrelationships between these 4 species. Some of these species are considered varieties of each other by some taxonomists, or they have been merged with other species within this complex. Drummond's Aster can be distinguished from other species (or varieties) in this complex by the evenly distributed pubescence along its stems and by the evenly distributed pubescence on the lower sides of its leaves. The abundance and conspicuousness of this pubescence can vary across different populations of plants in Illinois. Drummond's Aster also differs from Heart-Leaved Aster by its winged petioles; this is a trait that it shares with the remaining species of this complex. Relatively recently, all of these species have been reassigned to another genus, Symphyotrichum. As a result, Drummond's Aster is often referred to as Symphyotrichum drummondii. While the individual flowerheads are relatively small, the inflorescence of this aster is often quite large and showy during the autumn.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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