Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Climbing Aster - Ampelaster carolinianus   (Walter) NesomOnly member of Ampelaster in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Walter) Nesom
DistributionSouthern Coastal Plain. There is a single valid specimen from NC: Bladen County, "pond, 4.8 miles southeast of Elizabethtown on NC 87", 19 October 1957, Ahles 37479 (NCU).

Coastal Plain, NC to southern FL.
AbundanceConsidered of historical occurrence, and thus its State Rank is SH. Known from just the single collection; no information on size of that population. Because it can be found in plantings in yards and gardens, some agencies may treat the NC occurrence as an escape or possible planting. However, the location seems to be likely a natural one. Nonetheless, the NCNHP has been ambivalent on its natural condition and has thus not given it a Significantly Rare status, or rarer at the state level. However, the website editors feel that it should be reinstated as a Significantly Rare species.
Habitat"Pond". Elsewhere in its range, it occupies the margins of blackwater streams and rivers, fresh and tidal fresh marshes, and coastal hammocks.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-November.
IdentificationThis unique aster clambers over supporting shrubs and small trees, rather vine-like. Stems are 3-6 feet long (or more), widely branched, leaves narrowly elliptic and 1-2.5 inches long. The flowers have numerous whitish to rosy pink rays and yellow disk florets. Many people are probably familiar with this species from plantings in gardens and arboretums, as it makes a very attractive "climbing" species.
Taxonomic CommentsAmpelaster is a monotypic genus (it has only one species).

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankSH
Global RankG5
State Status[SR-P]
US Status
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USACE-empFACW link
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