Wetland Specialist September 27, 2007
One more lovely aster and this one is a wetland specialist. These purple flowers could be confused with a New England aster, but there are notable differences.
Habitat is the first clue. This plant is a wetland obligate; you might even note the Broad-leaved Cat-tail, Typha latifolia growing in the back ground.
This is a very tall asteraceae, topping out at 6 to 8 feet. But a major key to its identity is the stem. Note the purple color.
This is the Fen or Purplestem Aster, Symphyotrichum puniceum. It was formerly known as the Aster puniceus. But this Aster would be as lovely by any other name, and this majestic Purplestem Aster of our wetlands is one you will be certain to remember.