Symphyotrichum prenanthoides

Symphyotrichum prenanthoides crookedstem aster

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

A ragged-looking aster with a branching cluster of flower heads at the top.  Leaves are of unique spatula shape and have lobes that clasp the stem, making it easy to identify.

Grows in swamps and low woods.

Present throughout the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers August to October.

Flowers   clusters at top of stem, arising from upper leaf axils.  There are up to 35  lavender to light blue rays and a yellow center disk that acquires a reddish tint with age.

Leaves  spatula-shaped, coarsely toothed, sharply pointed at the tip, winged stalk that is slightly enlarged at the base into a pair of lobes that clasp the stem.  Not pubescent other than a few hairs on the midvein on the underside.  Basal leaves wither away by flowering time along with lowest stem leaves.  In the upper stem, leaves change shape and became stalkless, lance-shaped, toothless and reduce in size, still clasping the stem.

Stems   single or may be multiple at the base, ascending to erect, purplish or green,  with hair on the upper portion of the stem.  Stems zig-zag between the leaf nodes, thus the aster's common name.

Fruits  dry seed with a tuft of light brown hair;  seeds get carried off by the wind.

The leaves are spatula-shaped, other than at the top of the stem.

S-rank:  No rank
G-rank:  G4 (Apparently secure)