This rather coarse and extremely variable species has a stout, simple, purple-stained, angular stalk, which grows two or three feet high from a long root-stock. The basal leaves are very large. They are broadly heart-shaped, taper to a sharp point, and have toothed margins. They have long, slender, grooved and often sticky stems. These very noticeable leaves are set three or four together near the ground, and commonly form large mats or patches - a means by which they may be usually identified. The upper leaves become suddenly smaller and oblong in shape, with short, broadly winged stems, the topmost ones finally occurring almost stemless. The attractive flower heads are loosely arranged in broad, terminal clusters, and they are nearly an inch across. They have from twelve to sixteen rays of various shades of lilac, lavender or violet, and their yellow disc florets turn reddish brown as they fade. This sweetly scented Aster is common in well-drained soils in open woods and thickets, from Canada to Minnesota, and North Carolina during August and September.