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..
Stem slender, erect, 1 1/2"-3" high, pubescent, often nearly or quite to the base, the usually short branches spreading or ascending. Leaves thin, glabrous above, usually pubescent on the midvein beneath, serrate with a few appressed teeth, or entire, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, sometimes 6' long, 2"-7" wide, sessile, or the basal ones spatulate and petioled; heads more or less unilateral on the branches, densely or loosely clustered, often also solitary or few in the lower axils; bracts of the involucre in 3 or 4 series, linear-lanceolate, acuminate or acute; rays white, about 2" long.
In woods and thickets, New Brunswick to Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Michigan. Perhaps a race of the preceding species. Aug.-Oct. Wise-weed. Old-field sweet. Farewell-summer. Old-Virginia. Stickweed. White-devil. Nail-rod.
Aster vimineus Lam. Encycl. 1: 306. 1783.
Aster folioiosus Ait. Hort. Kew. 3: 203. 1789.
Aster Tradescanti T. & G. Fl. N. A. 2: 129. 1841. Not L. I7S3. Aster vimineus folioiosus A. Gray, Syn. Fl. 1: Part 2, 186. 1884.
Glabrous or nearly so throughout; stem slender, divergently branched, 2°-5° high. Stem leaves linear-lanceolate, entire, or with a few low teeth, 3'-5' long, 2"-4" wide, acuminate at the apex, narrowed to a sessile base, those of the branches much smaller; heads very numerous, small, 3"-5" broad, 2"-3 high, generally densely racemose-secund, sometimes subpaniculate, short-peduncled; involucre broadly turbinate, its bracts linear, acute or acutish, imbricated in about 3 series, green-tipped, appressed; rays numerous, about 2" long, white to purplish; pappus white; achenes minutely pubescent.
In moist soil, Ontario to Florida, west to Minnesota and Arkansas. Aug.-Sept.
Aster racemosus Ell., with smaller heads, the leaves all very small, of the Southeastern States, apparently occurs in extreme southern Illinois.
Aster multiflorus Ait. Hort. Kew. 3: 203. 1789.
A. multiflorus stricticaulis T. & G. Fl. N. A. 2: 125. 1841.
A. multiflorus exiguus Fernald, Rhodora 1: 187. 1899.
A. polycephalus Rydb. Bull. Torr. Club 33: 153. 1906.
Stem strict, much branched and bushy, rough-pubescent or scabrous, r°-7° high, the branches ascending or spreading. Leaves rigid, linear or linear-oblong, entire, mostly obtuse, sessile or slightly clasping at the base, rough and ciliate, those of the stem 1/2-1 1/2' long, those of the branches very small and crowded; heads 3"-4" broad, densely crowded, nearly sessile, sometimes slightly secund on the branches; involucre 2"-3" high, its bracts coriaceous, mostly ciliate or pubescent, in 3 or 4 series, their short green tips obtuse or mucronate, spreading; rays 10-20, white, 1 1/2"-2" long; pappus brownish white; achenes puberulent.
In dry open places, Maine and Ontario to Alberta, Georgia, Texas and Arizona. Consists of many slightly differing races. Fall-flower. Aug.-Nov.