Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Cornel-leaf Aster - Doellingeria infirma   (Michaux) Greene
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Michaux) Greene
DistributionMountains and Piedmont; also in Greene County (roadside). Absent from the Sandhills proper. Specimens at SERNEC and elsewhere need ID annotations and updated nomenclature.

MA to KY, south to northern FL and AL.
AbundanceFairly common to common in the Mountains; and infrequent to fairly common in the Piedmont. Extremely rare in the Coastal Plain. Despite its occurrence in nearly all Piedmont counties, it is not encountered on a routine forest walk.
HabitatMesic to dry pine-hardwood slopes and ravines, often rocky; glades; open mixed woodlands. This species does not occur along borders or large openings, but prefers shady woods.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late June-September.
IdentificationOf our 3 species of Doellingeria, this is the shortest at 2 (-3) feet tall and occupies only dry to mesic soils (vs. wet). Leaves are relatively short and broad (vs. elongate). The inflorescences are much smaller than the other 2 species, but, as in both, the rays are white. Nonetheless, the 5-12 rays are rather long, and the spread flower of 1.5 inches across is easily noticed when in bloom.
Taxonomic CommentsSome texts have placed Aster umbellatus var. brevisquamus here, but that is a synonym of D. sericocarpoides. Note that this is one of many composites in NC formerly included in the genus Aster, as Aster infirmus.

Other Common Name(s)Cornel-leaf Whitetop, Cornel-leaf Whitetop Aster, Appalachian Whitetop Aster. There are several additional names with three to five words! Two words for a common name usually suffices!
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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