Featured Plants -
Aster carolinianus Walter
Family: Compositae (Asteraceae)
This 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.