Symphyotrichum puniceum (L.) A. & D. Löve
The words or terms in red
(actually dark orange) in the text are defined in a
Symphyotrichum puniceum, also known as
Aster puniceus, is an erect
native perennial forb.
has two varieties :
The plant belongs to the
- Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum
that is found in the eastern USA but for Florida and, in Canada,
is found from British Columbia to Nova-Scotia;
- Symphyotrichum puniceum var. scabricaule that is only
found in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississipi and Texas.
In Greek :
so that Symphyotrichum would refer to a plant having
fruits with pappus
and growing together, the case of the
(symphysis) means the growing together, union
(trichos) the genitif of θριξ
(thrix) means hair
In Latin, puniceus means purple
so that Symphyotrichum puniceum means Purple Symphyotrichum;
this is a bit true as far as the stem is concerned, but not that
true of the flower heads that are usually lilac, pale violet or pale blue.
As far as the old genus name is concerned, in Greek,
αστηρ (aster) means star,
and the genus name refers then to the shape of the flower head.
Some of the
vernacular names of
Symphyotrichum puniceum are:
Bristly Aster, Shining Aster, Glossy-leaved Aster, Purple-stem Aster,
Purplestem Aster, Red-stalked Aster
and Swamp Aster.
(In French the vernacular name is Aster ponceau).
Symphyotrichum puniceum has also been known as:
with such a profusion of synonyms due to the large distribution of the plant ?
- Aster blandus Pursh
- Aster calderi B. Boivin
- Aster conduplicatus E. S. Burgess
- Aster firmus Nees
- Aster forwoodii S. Watson
- Aster hispidus Lamark
- Aster lucidulus (A. Gray) Wiegand
- Aster lucidulus (A. Gray) Wiegand forma albiflorus
(R. Hoffm.) Benke
- Aster puniceus L.
- Aster puniceus L. forma albiflorus R. Hoffm.
- Aster puniceus L. forma blandus (Pursh) Fernald
- Aster puniceus L. forma brachyphyllus Lepage
- Aster puniceus L. forma candidus Fernald
- Aster puniceus L. forma demissus (Lindl.) Fernald
- Aster puniceus L. forma etiamalbus Venard
- Aster puniceus L. forma lucidulus (A. Gray) Fernald
- Aster puniceus L. forma rufescens (Pursh) Fassett
- Aster puniceus L. subsp. firmus (Nees) A.G. Jones
- Aster puniceus L. var. calderi (B. Boivin) Lepage
- Aster puniceus L. var. calvus Shinners
- Aster puniceus L. var. compactus Fernald
- Aster puniceus L. var. demissus Lindl.
- Aster puniceus L. var. firmus (Nees) Torr. & A. Gray
- Aster puniceus L. var. laevicaulis A. Gray
- Aster puniceus L. var. lucidulus A. Gray
- Aster puniceus L. var. oligocephalus Fernald
- Aster puniceus L. var. perlongus Fernald
- Aster puniceus L. var. rufescens Pursh
- Symphyotrichum firmum (Nees) G. L. Nesom
- Symphyotrichum puniceum (L.) A. & D. Löve var. calderi
(B. Boivin) G.L. Nesom
- Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum (L.) A. & D. Löve
Symphyotrichum puniceum is not too difficult to identify by
its usually purple stems, its clasping leaves, and its showy lilac to pale blue
ray flower heads that are around 1/2 inch across.
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (Aster novae-angliae) is a bit
similar, but its flower head are of a darker color.
Oclemena nemoralis (Aster nemoralis) is also bit
similar, but it is always light pink, never blue, is of smaller size
and lives in bogs.
- From a stout rhizome.
- Upright, branched or unbranched, up to 8 feet tall.
- Hairy or, less commonly, smooth.
- Usually purple or at least partially and somewhat crooked (zig-zag).
- Alternate, simple.
- lanceolate to
- Pointed at the tip, tapering to a clasping base
(somewhat as the leaves of
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (Aster novae-angliae).
- Toothed or, sometimes, without teeth.
- Up to 8 inches long and up to 2 inches wide.
- In an open, leafy panicle.
- Around one inch in diameter.
- With pale lilac, pale blue, mauve, violet, 20 to 50
- With yellow, 30 to 50
becoming purple at maturity.
- In bloom from August to October.
- A smooth ellipsoid achene,
with a white pappus.
- About 1/8 inch long.
Swamps, rich woods, wet open areas,
stream banks, pond margins, springs and swampy or boggy places
Symphyotrichum puniceum var. puniceum is found in
eastern and middle North America, from Newfoundland to North Dakota,
south to Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska.
In Canada it is in fact found in all the provinces.
The roots are are said to be
A decoction has been used in the treatment of colds,
typhoid, pneumonia and fevers.
A decoction has been used to promote menstruation,
that can lead to an abortion.
The decoction has also been used to restore a woman to health
after giving birth.
The chewed root has been applied to an aching tooth to allay the pain.
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.
Plants, stems, phyllaries and leaves
The picture on the right was scanned at 300 dpi,
and then its dimensions were reduced by one half (one quarter area).