Oclemena acuminata [Michaux] Greene

Remark The words or terms in red (actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a glossary.

sep_22_02.gthmb can't be loaded. Oclemena acuminata also known as Aster acuminatus is a native perennial of North America. The plant belongs to the Asteraceae family.


In Greek, αστηρ (aster) means star, and the name refers then to the shape of the flower head.

In Latin, acuminatus means pointed, the epithet refers then to the pointed tip of the leaves.

As for the Oclemena genus name, neither my Gaffiot Latin to French dictionary nor my Bailly classical Greek to French dictionary gave me any clue.

Common names

Some of the vernacular names of Oclemena acuminata (Aster acuminatus) are: Whorled Aster, Whorled Wood Aster, Sharpleaf Aster, White Wood Aster, Sharp-leaved Aster or White Woodland Aster. (In French: Aster à rameaux étalés, Aster acuminé).


Oclemena acuminata has also been known as: draw.jpg can't be loaded.


Oclemena acuminata is conspicuous when in bloom and unlikely to be overlooked or misidentified. This is a unique aster that is very easy to identify by the unusual combination of running rhizome, whorled elliptical leaves with sharply toothed outer margins, and few large flowers.

The somewhat similar species are the Aster macrophyllus and Aster umbellatus; but Aster macrophyllus (Large-leaved Aster) has very large basal leaves and Aster umbellatus (Flat-topped White Aster) has quite narrower leaves.


A usually short plant, one of the few woodland species. It spreads by running rhizomes in the lower forest floor or upper mineral soil.



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Composite Flower



Wooded areas, clearings. Mesic and coniferous forest, especially on acidic substrates. An occasional species on the watershed, of wet openings along stream on dip slope. Apt to be found in open patches since it is a light loving species.


map_na.jpg can't be loaded. Oclemena acuminata is a plant of eastern North America. It is found in eastern Canada, from Nova Scotia and Québec to eastern Ontario. In eastern USA it is found from Ohio in the west to New England in the east, and southward to Georgia and Tennessee, also further south in the mountains. The map shows the USA States and Canadian provinces where the plant can be found.


The photos of the gallery were taken either with one of the following: The title in the window shows the date when the picture was taken, i.e. jan_30_06... would mean that the photo was taken on the 30th of January, the 06 is for the 6th picture taken that day.

The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter:

and if there is no letter it's obviously the Minolta.

Click on the thumbnails to get larger view. The original usually photos are in TIFF format, the photos shown are in JPEG format, usually of dimension one half (surface one quarter) for loading time reduction.


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Flowers, leaves and seeds

The leaves were scanned at 300 dpi, and the image dimensions reduce by half (one quarter in surface). The cent with the achenes and pappus gives the dimensions of the seed.

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