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 Shortii Hook. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 9. 1834.
Stem roughish or smooth, slender, panicu-lately branched above, 2°-4° high. Leaves thick, glabrous or nearly so above, finely and sparingly pubescent beneath, the lower and basal ones ovate or ovate-lanceolate, cordate at the base, acute or acuminate at the apex, slightly dentate, or entire, 2'-6' long, 1'-2' wide, borne on slender naked petioles; upper leaves lanceolate, entire, sessile or short-peti-oled, not cordate, those of the branches small and bract-like; heads numerous, 5"-7" high; involucre broadly campanulate, its bracts linear, acute, puberulent, imbricated in several series, their green tips appressed; rays 10-15, linear, violet-blue, 5"-6" long; pappus tawny.
On banks and along edges of woods, western Pennsylvania to Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, Wisconsin and Tennessee. Sept.-Oct.
Aster azureus Lindl.; Hook. Comp. Bot. Mag. 1:
98. 1835 A. capillaceus Burgess; Small, Fl. S.E. U. S. 1215. 1903.
Stem slender, stiff, rough, branched above, 1°-4° high. Leaves thick, usually all entire, scabrous on both sides, the lower and basal ones cordate, ovate, ovate-lanceolate, or lanceolate, acute, acuminate, or obtusish, 2'-6' long, with slender, naked, often pubescent petioles; upper leaves short-petioled or sessile, lanceolate or linear, those of the branches reduced to small appressed bracts; heads numerous, 4"-5" high; involucre turbinate, its bracts glabrous, linear-oblong, abruptly acute, imbricated in several series, their green tips appressed; rays 10-20, bright blue, 3"-4" long; pappus tawny.
Stem glabrous or nearly so, rarely pubescent, much branched, bushy, 1°-5° high. Leaves thin, rough, more or less pubescent with scattered hairs above and on the veins beneath, sharply serrate, acuminate, the lower and basal ones slender-petioled, broadly ovate-cordate, 2'-$' long, the upper short-petioled or sessile, ovate or lanceolate, smaller; petioles scarcely margined; heads usually very numerous, small, 2"-3" high, 6"-9" broad, handsome; involucre turbinate to cylindric, its bracts oblong-linear, obtuse or obtusish, green-tipped, appressed; rays 10-20, 3"-4" long, violet or blue, sometimes pale, rarely white.
Woods and thickets, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Ontario, Minnesota, Georgia and Missouri. Consists of many races, differing mainly in leaf-form and inflorescence. Sept.-Dec. Tongue. Bee-weed.