Purplestem Aster ?

Purplestem Aster ?
Purplestem Aster. Symphyotrichum puniceum, formerly Aster puniceum.
Asteraceae, the daisy, sunflower or composite family.

Plant: Erect, branching, smooth to sparsely hairy stems, 1'-4', often reddish of purplish, with loose terminal clusters of light blue to violet or white, daisy-like flower heads. Perennial
Flowers: Light blue to violet, to nearly white, daisy-like flower heads, 1"-1.25", with 20-50 ray flowers, and bright yellow centers, changing to brown. Bracts hairless or nearly so.
Leaves: Alternate, narrowly ovate to lanceolate-linear, 2"-6", sparsely toothed or toothless mostly smooth, and clasping the stem.
Fruit: Dry seed-like achene with silky hairs.
Blooming: August-October
Habitat: Fields, meadows, damp thickets.

Comments: One of several larger blue-violet to whitish asters in our area. Symphyotrichum puniceum is current guess for pictures here. This species is one of the most variable and widespread in a group that tends to be highly variable, to interbreed, and are often difficult to distinguish. Additional images can be found in Purplestem Aster White Form. A large group of north-American asters formerly placed in the genus Aster have been placed in new genera, many of them in Symphyotrichum.

Where to find it: Occasional near the north-west shore of the pond, and possibly in other open locations, often mixed with New England Aster, which is a deeper purple in this area.