Oclemena nemoralis (Ait.) Greene
The words or terms in red
(actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a
Oclemena nemoralis (Aster nemoralis)
is one of the loveliest aster that grows in Québec. It is a
native perennial forb of
The plant belongs to the
In Greek, αστηρ (aster)
means star, and the genus name refers then
to the shape of the flower head.
In Latin, nemoralis means from the woods, from the forest;
so that Aster nemoralis means an Aster that grows in the forest,
although this plant never grows in forests but in
bogs, in the open,
at time in the first two feet of shrubs at the border of bogs!
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.
Some of the vernacular
names of Oclemena nemoralis are:
Bog Aster, Wood Aster or Nodding Bog Aster.
(In French, the names are: Aster des tourbières and
Aster des bois; tourbière is bog
and bois is wood
and I have seen plenty of Oclemena nemoralis in bogs
but I have never seen a single one in a wood!)
Oclemena nemoralis has also been known as:
- Aster nemoralis Aiton
- Aster nemoralis Sol. ex Aiton
- Aster nemoralis Sol. ex Aiton forma albiflorus Fernald
- Eucephalus nemoralis (Sol. ex Aiton) Greene
- Galatella nemoralis (Sol. ex Aiton) Nees
Oclemena nemoralis is easy to identify since it is the only
aster that grows in fens, bogs or boggy areas.
Aster puniceus (the Purple-stemmed Aster)
is somewhat similar but it grows in wet areas, in neutral soil,
not in bogs, in acid soil.
Aster linariifolius, Ionactis linariifolius of the
newer taxonomy, (the Stiff Aster)
is also somewhat similar but it occurs on dry, rocky soil.
Oclemena nemoralis is small slender plant
arising from a creeping rootstalk
and that grows in bogs.
- 20 to 70 cm (6 to 24 inches) high.
- Only branching near end.
- Thin, hairy, with a round cross-section.
- Small, stiff, very numerous, clustered about a single stem,
narrow, decreasing in size up the stem,
- 1 to 3 cm long, the length four to five times the width.
- Simple, toothless, hairy, without a
tapered at both ends.
- With inrolled margins.
- A single flower head at the top of the stem, or,
possibly up to three flower heads per plant, each one on its
own slender peduncle.
- 15 to 25 ray florets,
light violet-purple, or pale to deep pink.
- 20 to 35 disk florets,
yellow becoming purple at maturity.
- 2.5 to 4 cm (1 to 1.5 inch) in diameter.
- With narrow bracts purple-tinged.
- Blooming from August to September.
The fruit is a glandular achene
with a double pappus
of two bristled whorls.
Acidic, high-organic soils.
Peaty barrens, sphagnum bogs, lake margins, marshes.
Oclemena nemoralis is found in
eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.
The map shows the USA States and Canadian provinces
where the plant can be found.
The Chippewa used a decoction of the plant which was dropped into the ear
or applied on a warm cloth for soreness in the ear.
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.
- Fuji Mx 700.
- Minolta DiMAGE 7.
- Nikon 2200.
- EPSON Perfection 1650 scanner.
The month, day and picture number might be followed by a letter:
and if there is no letter it's obviously the Minolta.
- f for the Fuji.
- n for the Nikon.
- s for the EPSON scanner.
Click on the thumbnails to get larger view.
The original photos are usually in TIFF format,
the photos shown are generally in JPEG format,
usually of dimension one half (surface one quarter)
for loading time reduction.
The picture on the left was taken at the edge of a bog;
the arbust leaves in the upper right corner are those of an Alnus rugosa.
In the other two pictures, the plants are on a mat of
The leaves were scanned at 300 dpi,
this allows to measure the dimensions of the leaves.