Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Buck Creek Aster - Symphyotrichum rhiannon   Weakley & Govus
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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AuthorWeakley & Govus
DistributionMountains only: Clay County, Buck Creek Serpentine Barrens. First noted as a potentially new species in 1981, though not described until 2004.

This species is only known from this one site!
AbundanceLocally frequent to common at this one site, and considered of excellent viability, as the site is on protected and managed (by fire) land (U.S. Forest Service). It is a State Threatened species, and ought to be Federally listed at some point.
HabitatOpen to semi-open serpentine barrens among Pitch Pines (Pinus rigida) and graminoids.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting October-November.
IdentificationFor affinities and how to tell it from other species, see Kauffman et al. (2004). It may look similar to S. prenanthoides, but leaf bases of that plant encircle the stem (vs. sessile or rather clasping). It grows to several feet tall, with a reddish-purple stem, narrowly elliptical stem leaves, with the lower ones having long and tapering petioles, and an open inflorescence of flowers with lavender to light purple rays.
Taxonomic CommentsSpecies description is in Kauffman et al. (2004).

Other Common Name(s)Rhiannon's Aster
State RankS1
Global RankG1
State StatusT
US Status
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Alan CresslerClay County, Buck Creek Serpentine Barrens. ClayPhoto_natural
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