Oclemena nemoralis (Ait.) Greene

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

aug_03_01.gthmb can't be loaded. Oclemena nemoralis (Aster nemoralis) is one of the loveliest aster that grows in Québec. It is a native perennial forb of North America. The plant belongs to the Asteraceae family.


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.

Common names

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: draw.jpg can't be loaded.


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.



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Flower heads


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. map_na.jpg can't be loaded.


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.

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 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 sphagnum.

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