Heath Aster
Aster ericoides L.
Family: Asteraceae, Aster
Genus: Aster
Synonyms: Aster pansus
Other names: manyflowered aster
Nomenclature: ericoides = like heath or broom
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: plant 30-100 cm tall. It hybridizes with A. falcatus. Growth habit: Fibrous-rooted perennial, several in clusters from a thickened stembase or very short rhizome. Stems: ascending to erect, branching.

Leaves: numerous, firm, linear or nearly so, often tipped with a small spine at tip, seldom over 7 cm long and 5 mm wide, rough with stiff, spreading or less often flat hairs.

Flowerheads: small, numerous, tending to grow on one side of the downward-curved, ascending branches, with 15-25 white rays, 3-8 mm long. The disk is only 4-8 mm wide. Involucre 4-7 mm high, its bracts well overlapping, loose or bent backward, the green tips of the outer firm, round-tipped, with a small bristle. July-September.

Fruits: achenes with pappus of small, whitish bristles.


Open, wet or dry places in the valleys and plains, often along the drying margins of streams and ponds in parts of MT. Also in e. WA and s. B.C., s. to UT, CO and e. to MN. The species is tolerant of alkaline conditions.
Sub taxa:

Plants in our area belong to var. pansus (Blake) Boivin.

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