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..
Glabrous throughout; stem paniculately or corym-bosely branched; rather stout, i°-5° high. Stem leaves lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, narrowed to a sessile base, or the lower into margined petioles, entire or nearly so, firm, 2'-5' long, 2"-4" wide, those of the branches gradually smaller; basal leaves oblong to spatulate, obtuse, dentate, or entire; heads not very numerous, 6"-9' broad; involucre hemispheric, nearly 4" high, its bracts linear-lanceolate, acute or subulate, green-tipped or green on the back, imbricated in about 3 series, the outer shorter; rays bright white, rarely purplish, 3"-4" long, numerous; pappus white; achenes minutely pubescent.
On moist cliffs, Maine and Vermont to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina. Aug.-Sept.
Aster ericoides L. Sp. Pl. 875. 1753.
1841. Aster ericoides pilosus Porter, Mem. Torr. Club 5:
Stem glabrous, villous, or hirsute, paniculately branched, usually bushy, 1°-3° high, the branches racemose, and the branchlets often somewhat secund. Leaves firm or rigid, the basal ones spatulate, obtuse, dentate, narrowed into margined petioles, glabrous or ciliate; stem leaves narrowly linear to linear-lanceolate, acute, entire, 1'-3' long, 1"-3" wide, those of the branches linear-subulate, numerous; heads usually very numerous, 4"-/' broad; involucre campanulate to hemispheric, its bracts coriaceous, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, abruptly acute or acuminate, green-tipped, imbricated in about 3 series; rays 15-25, white, or tinged with rose; pappus white; achenes finely pubescent. In dry soil, Maine to Ontario, Florida, Minnesota and Missouri. Frost-weed. Michaelmas daisy. Farewell-summer. White rosemary. Dog-fennel.
Mare's-tail. Scrub-bush. Steel-weed. Sept.-Dec.
A densely villous, broad-leaved relative or race of this species, ranging from Ohio to North Carolina and Michigan, is known as Aster ericoides platyphyllus T. & G.
This species apparently hybridizes with A. paniculatus Lam. where the two grow together.
Aster ericoides var. Pringlei A. Gray, Syn. Fl. 1:
Part 2, 184. 1884. Aster Pringlei Britton, in Britt. & Brown, 111. Fl. 3:
Stem very slender, glabrous, simple, or with few or numerous slender ascending branches, not bushy, 6'-2° high. Basal leaves lanceolate, oblong or oblanceolate, 2'-6' long, 2"-6" wide, entire, or slightly toothed, ciliate and sometimes a little pubescent, at least on the slender petioles which are often as long as the blades; stem leaves narrowly linear, those of the branches small and subulate; heads as large as those of A. ericoides, or commonly smaller, usually fewer, solitary at the ends of the branches and branchlets; bracts of the involucre with short green tips; rays white.
On banks, especially in rocky places, Massachusetts and Vermont to Wisconsin. Aug.-Oct