Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Creeping Aster - Eurybia surculosa   (Michaux) G.L. Nesom
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Eurybia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Michaux) G.L. Nesom
DistributionCentral and southern Mountains and uppermost Piedmont, as far as we know. Records and specimens from the Coastal Plain are misidentifications of E. paludosa or E. compacta. Records from Henderson, Polk, and Rutherford counties need to be carefully vetted against E. spectabilis.

Western VA and southeastern KY, south to northern GA and eastern TN.
AbundanceUncommon to locally common. The NCNHP removed the species from its Watch List in 2022, as it appears to be numerous enough to no longer need such listing.
HabitatGranitic domes and granitic outcrops in shallow soil; also on roadside slopes, along logging roads, dry roadbanks, and borders of pine stands. It clearly favors dry and often sandy or rocky soil, in full to partial sun.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late August-October.
IdentificationThe genus Eurybia has been split from Aster (now Symphyotrichum). Variation among species of each genus requires several steps in a key to split members of the two genera apart (see genus key in Weakley 2018).

This species has features of both E. paludosa and E. spectabilis. The elongate leaves of some (but not all) plants recalls the former, while plants with shorter and blunter leaves recall the latter. Weakley (2018) and Cronquist (1980) state that it has far fewer and less obvious glandular dots on the flower bracts as compared to the latter. In general appearance, it is a rather short plant, mostly under 1 foot tall; it has elliptical basal leaves and a few smaller stem leaves, with a rather flat to rounded inflorescence of a few lavender- to purple-rayed flowers.
Taxonomic CommentsFormerly treated as Aster surculosus.

Other Common Name(s)None. The name of Creeping Aster seems to be a misnomer, as there is nothing creeping or sprawling about the plant.
State RankS3
Global RankG4G5
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