White Wood Aster

White Wood Aster
White Wood Aster. Eurybia divaricatus, formerly Aster divaricatus.
Asteraceae, the daisy, sunflower or composite family.

Plant: Erect, usually single-stemmed plant, 1'-3' high, stems sparsely wooly-hairy, with coarsely toothed heart-shaped or oval leaves, and a terminal cluster of white, daisy-like flowers. Woodland habitat. Perennial.
Flowers: Heads with 5-15 white rays, 3/4"-1" across, in flat-topped terminal panicles, sometimes elongating with age. Centers yellow, turning to pink. Involucral bracts light-bordered and mostly blunt-tipped.
Leaves: Alternate, 1"-4", notched at base, lower leaves distinctly heart-shaped, upper ones more ovate. Coarsely toothed, usually with less than 15 teeth per side. Stalks (petioles) of upper leaves often winged.
Fruit: A head of achenes with silky hairs.
Blooming: Late July - October.
Habitat: Deciduous woods

Comments: A native, woodland aster. There are a couple other very similar species of Eurybia, distinguished mainly by geographic distribution and some very technical characteristics. Another similar woodland aster Symphyotrichum cordifolia (Common heart-leaf aster) usually has bluish flowers, and more finely-toothed leaves.

Where to find it: Common in the upper woods of the park in late summer and fall, when it is one of the few woodland flowers blooming.