Mar. 4, 2020

flat-top aster, Sericocarpus asteroides

Prior to the mid 20th century, these plants were separate from asters in the genus Sericocarpus. Their flat-top nature, coupled with three rows of bristles on the seeds were the most distinguishing features. You can see that extra fuzz among the center flowers in this image. Then most botanists decided they should be included in Aster. Now DNA evidence has made it clear they should be separate, and they are again Sericocarpus. In fact, we now know they are more closely related to goldenrods than asters. And of course most of our asters have been separated from Asters as Symphyotrichum. This species of Sericocarpus grows in AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME(E), MI, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, and WV. Monongalia Co WV, 7/16/15. Aster family, Asteraceae.