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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Aster subspicatus

Douglas Aster

Flowering Period: Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct July August September October
Flower color: purple
Wet soil Moist soil


At a Glance: Rhizomatous perennial wildflower with much-branched stems and light purple aster-like flower heads.

Height: Grows up to 32 inches (80 cm).
Growth Form: Herb.
Stems: Stems are leafy with hairs on the upper portion and are most often unbranched.
Leaves: Leaves are alternate. Leaf shape differs depending on the location of the leaf on the plant; lower leaves are lance-shaped and usually stalked while middle leaves are lanced shaped to oblong, stalkless and usually toothed, hairless above and beneath. Size: 1-2 cm wide. Color: green.
Flowers: Ray flowers are blue to purple and disk flowers are yellow. Size: ray flowers are 1-2 cm long. A distinguishing characterisitic of Douglas aster is its thick overlapping bracts beneath each flower head. Also, outer margins of thegracts have a thin, transparent (waxy/papery) look.
Flowering Period: July, August, September, October.
Fruits: Seeds have several ribbed achenes that are often hairy. Pappus hairs are usually reddish or purplish brown at maturity.

Aster subspicatus
Photo © 2004, Starflower Foundation
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
(data not available)


wet
moist
dry

Wetland Indicator Status:
FACW (facultative wetland)
low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
sandy soils
gravelly soils
clay soils
muddy soils
peaty soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
deep soils
acidic soils
basic soils
humic soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites

Wildlife Value
Berries
Seeds
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover

Insects: The flowers attract painted lady, red admiral, spring azure, orange sulphur, and woodland skipper butterflies.


Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
(data not available)


Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.