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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Section

Featured Plants - Climbing Aster

Aster carolinianus Walter
Family: Compositae (Asteraceae)

Climbing Aster Habitat - Photo by Kerry Ann Dressler Climbing Aster FlowerThis woody aster with lavender/yellow flowers was described by Thomas Walter from the coastal plain of South Carolina in 1788. It is a much branched sprawling shrub to 4 meters long, climbing up through and over vegetation, rarely with erect stems. Leaves are simple, alternate with an auriculate base, often clasping and a pointed tip. The flowers appear in panicles in fall, September-October. Flowers in "heads" of ray and disc flowers. The narrow ray flowers are lavender to pale lavender, 1.0-2.5 cm long. The disc flowers are yellow. The involucre bracts are pubescent and overlapping, with recurved tips. The base of the "head" is urn-shaped. The fruit is an achene with a tan pappus made up of bristles, 5-7 mm long. The body of the achene is ribbed.

This plant can be found throughout Florida except northwest Florida, along wetland margins, such as marshes, rivers, streams, lake/pond margins and swamp margins.

This plant can be confused with other members of the Aster genus. It is our only native aster with woody stems over 1 meter in length, in addition the upper leaf surface is scabrous. Look for these plants growing in water on the edge of wetlands.

Botanical description and illustration by John D. TobeClimbing Aster Drawing


Last updated: September 21, 2011

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