This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Aster grandiflorus L. Sp. Pl. 877. 1753.
Stem rather stiff, divaricately much branched, hispid with short hairs, 1°-21/2° high. Leaves oblong, linear, or somewhat spatulate, rigid, sessile by a broad, sometimes slightly clasping base, reflexed, entire, obtusish, hispid, the larger 2' long and 4" wide, those of the branches very numerous, 2"-5" long; heads about 2' broad, terminating the branches; involucre hemispheric, its bracts very squarrose and foliaceous, imbricated in 5-7 series, linear, or linear-oblong, glandular, the outer obtusish, the inner acute; rays very numerous, deep violet, nearly 1' long, \\" wide; pappus brownish; achenes ribbed, canescent.
In dry soil, Virginia, east of the mountains, to Florida. Sept.
Aster spectabilis Ait. Hort. Kew. 3: 209. 1789- Stem stiff, simple, or corymbosely branched above, puberulent, or rough below, more or less glandular above, 1°-2° high. Leaves firm, thickish, the basal and lower ones oval, acute or acutish, 3'-5' long, l'-l1/2' wide, sparingly dentate with low teeth, narrowed at the base into slender petioles; upper leaves sessile, entire or very nearly so, acute, linear-oblong; heads several or numerous, about 1 1/2' broad, corymbose, very showy; involucre nearly hemispheric, its bracts linear-oblong or slightly spatulate, glandular, viscid, imbricated in about 5 series, their green obtusish tips spreading; rays 15-30, bright violet, 6"-10" long; pappus whitish; achenes slightly pubescent.
In dry sandy soil, Massachusetts to Delaware, mostly near the coast. Aug.-Oct.
Aster surculosus Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 112. 1803.
Stem slender, from elongated-filiform root-stocks, minutely scabrous-pubescent, 10'-18' high, corymbosely branched above. Leaves firm, lanceolate or linear, the lower petioled, 2'-3' long, 4"-8" wide, rough-margined, slightly scabrous above, sparingly dentate, the upper narrower, sessile, entire; heads few, or sometimes solitary, about 15" broad; involucre tur-binate-hemispheric, its bracts coriaceous, imbricated in about 5 series, ciliate, but scarcely glandular, their green tips spreading; rays 15-30, violet; pappus whitish; achenes nearly glabrous.
In sandy or gravelly soil, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia. Erroneously reported from New Jersey. Sept.-Oct.
Aster gracilis Nutt. Gen. 2: 158. 1818.
Stem slender, finely puberulent and scabrous, corymbosely branched above, 1°-1 1/2° high. Leaves minutely scabrous, the basal and lower ones oval, acute or obtusish, 2'-3' long, 4"-8" wide, dentate, narrowed into slender petioles; upper leaves linear, linear-oblong, or slightly oblanceolate, acute, entire, sessile or a little clasping; heads usually numerous, 6"-10" broad; involucre narrowly turbinate, its bracts coriaceous, glabrous or very nearly so, imbricated in about 5 series, their tips green and spreading, obtusish; rays 9-15, violet, 3"-4 1/2" long; pappus nearly white; achenes minutely pubescent.
In dry sandy soil, New Jersey to Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina. Rootstock tuberous-thickened. July-Sept.