Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Wavyleaf Aster - Symphyotrichum undulatum   (L.) Nesom
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Symphyotrichum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(L.) Nesom
DistributionNearly throughout the state, seemingly absent from some northeastern counties, and of spotty occurrence in parts of the Coastal Plain. Most present gaps will likely be filled with additional collecting.

N.S. to Ont., south to central FL and LA.
AbundanceCommon in the Mountains; fairly common to common in the Piedmont; fairly common in most of the Coastal Plain, though rare to absent in the northeastern counties and some southeastern counties. As with many other asters of wooded borders, it has been declining in recent years owing to competition for taller herbaceous plants.
HabitatDry to mesic woodlands and forests, trailsides, openings, glades, pine-oak-hickory woodlands, roadbanks. A species of open woods and edges, in partial shade to mostly shade.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August - early November.
IdentificationWavyleaf Aster usually grows 2-3 feet tall, the stem generally covered with short spreading hairs. Basal and lower stem leaves are long-stalked, the blades mostly cordate at the base and ovate in shape. Middle and upper stem leaves are variable but mostly with broad leaf tissue that clasps the stem. The inflorescence is open, the branches ascending to spreading and with many tiny bractlike leaves. The rays are pale lavender blue. The clasping-around-the-stem middle and upper leaves separates it from S. urophyllum and S. cordifolium. This is a familiar aster of the mountains and Piedmont, though seldom growing in colonies or large numbers at any single site.
Taxonomic CommentsNOTE: The genus Aster was examined by G.L. Nesom (1994), who determined that it was composed of a number of discrete genera (a few of which were already split off by authors as Sericocarpus, Ionactis, etc.). The earliest available name for North American "Aster" is Symphyotrichum, a name regrettably long and hard to spell.

Other Common Name(s)Wavyleaf American-aster
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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