Almutaster pauciflorus, Alkali Marsh Aster
Scientific Name: Almutaster pauciflorus
Common Name: Alkali Marsh Aster
Also Called: Alkalai Marsh Aster, Alkali-marsh Aster, Alkalimarsh Aster, Marsh-Aster
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Aster pauciflorus, Aster hydrophilus, Tripolium pauciflorum)
Size: 12 to 47 inches (30-120 cm) depending on locality.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; rhizomes, partially colonial; stems erect to ascending, reddish-green, glabrate, upper stems glandular-pubescent.
Leaves: Green; margins entire but may be ciliate; basal leaves linear, petiolate; cauline leaves sessile, clasping, mostly elongate-linear, narrowly spatulate, usually stipulate-glandular.
Flower Color: Purple, lavender or whitish, flowers showy, 3 to 10 heads, large, inflorescence panicle-like clusters, heads radiate; involucre campanulate, floral heads on branch tips; ray florets 15 to 30, white to pale purple, disk florets 40 to 50, yellow; phyllaries densely stipitate-glandular without other pubescence; fruit fusiform, hairy, finely ribbed, a (cypsela).
Flowering Season: May to September, June to October in California.
Elevation: 650 to 7,800 feet (200–2400 m) depending on locality.
Habitat Preferences: alluvial and alkaline soil, often found with halophytic vegetation, along streams, ditches, desert and dry prairie areas, inland salt marshes (coastal species).
Recorded Range: Almutaster pauciflorus found from northern Canada (Northwest Territories), Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba southward into the United States through North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming southward through the southwestern United Stated and south into northern and central Mexico (as far south as Tlaxcala); in California this species is found in the Mojave Desert in Inyo and Kern Counties.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Almutaster pauciflorus.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: In North America Almutaster pauciflorus has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FACW; Great Plains, FACW; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACW.
FACW = Facultative Wetland, usually occur in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands
Threatened/Endangered Information: In North America Almutaster pauciflorus is listed by California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Rare and Endangered Plant Inventory; California Rare Plant Rank: 2B.2 - Rare or Endangered in California, common elsewhere. 2: Fairly endangered in California
Comments: Arizona locations: San Bernardino Ranch and valley of the San Pedro River (Cochise County); Santa Cruz River valley and Aqua Caliente (Pima County)
The species epithet "pauciflorus" means few-flowered.