Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Very rare, not an Aster

 TPP is back!  It was a great trip even if it required several episodes of covid testing (failed them all, a good thing), including one administered by a nurse helicoptered into a field camp for just 9 of us.  At any rate today's not a Friday, not an aster, is actually called a false Aster, Boltonia decurrens.  Presently it is flowering in our perennial garden.  At well over 7 feet tall it is truly a standout.  And this is a rare plant in Illinois, an endangered species.  And having never seen it in the field it was quite surprise.  Now TPP knows what you are going to say, "Endangered? it looks like a fleabane aster, an Erigeron.  And technically TPP has no idea why it isn't one, and sorry haven't had the chance to look it up.  The numerous narrow pinkish ray flowers and yellow disk flowers certainly to look like a fleabane aster.  This particular species has leaf bases that are prominently decurrent down the stem, but Verbesina (wing stem) as the name suggests has winged stems so the two could be confused if you only had stems.  Although the yellow ray flowers of the latter leave no doubts.