Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for White Wood-aster - Eurybia divaricata   (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(L.) Nesom
DistributionMountains, Piedmont, and along the Cape Fear River in the Coastal Plain. The upper altitude limits in NC are not well-known; it is assumed that this species overlaps Mountain Wood-aster (E. chlorolepis) at the higher elevations.

NH and Que. to southern Ont and OH, south to northern GA and central AL.
AbundanceCommon to locally abundant in the Mountains and much of the Piedmont, but oddly very rare to absent in the northeastern corner, with no records east of Person and Wake counties. Mostly absent in the Coastal Plain, but can be locally numerous on slopes along the Cape Fear River.
HabitatMesic to moist soils of deciduous and pine-deciduous forests, upper margins of floodplains, bottomlands, streambanks, rocky slopes. Typically in acidic to slightly acidic soils, though in the Coastal Plain likely in more circumneutral, alluvial soils.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting 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).

White Wood-aster is closely related to Mountain Wood-aster and both have taper-pointed, heart-shaped leaves with long stalks and long white ray florets. Mountain Wood-aster has longer rays (10-20 mm long vs. at most 15 mm long) and the involucre (comprised of the bracts of the flower head) is 7-10 mm long (vs. less than 7 mm long in E. divaricata). This is a very common aster of mesic to rocky woods in much of the central and western parts of the state.
Taxonomic CommentsFormerly treated as Aster divaricatus.

Other Common Name(s)Common White Heartleaf Aster
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorriePiedmont, Deep River at Horseshoe Bend, steep rocky slope, late Aug 2020. MoorePhoto_natural
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