Eurybia spectabilis (Aiton) G.L. Nesom
Aster commixtus (Nees) Kuntze
Aster smallii Alexander
Aster spectabilis Aiton
Aster spectabilis Aiton var. cinerascens S.F. Blake
Aster spectabilis Aiton var. suffultus Fernald
Eurybia commixta Nees
Showy aster is native to North America, but it is now threatened over much of its range.
Identification: Plants are 4-35" (10-90 cm) tall, with stiff stems and sticky hairs, often branching toward the top. Leaves are alternate, unlobed, mostly toothless, rough or hairless, and ⅜-6" (1-16 cm) × ⅛-1½" (3-40 mm). In botany-speak, their shapes are lanceolate or elliptic to ovate- or obovate-elliptic or spatulate. This translates roughly to rounded or spoon-shaped. Leaves may be attached directly to the stem (sessile), or on short winged petioles. Flowerheads are a flat-topped corymb. Individual flowers are up to 1½" (3.8 cm) across, with 15-35 blue to purple rays and 25-55 tiny flowers in the central disc.
Eurybia spectabilis on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site
Eurybia spectabilis on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site
Eurybia spectabilis at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Eurybia spectabilis on eFloras
Eurybia spectabilis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 2 Jan 2019.