Sharp-Leaved Wood Aster (Aster Acumina-Tus) is a low-growing woodland aster with a simple, rather zig zag stem, quite hairy, growing from 1 to 3 feet in height. The leaves are quite large, sharply-pointed, sharply toothed and short-stemmed. A few alternate along the lower portions of the stem and a number are so closely together as to appear whorled about the stem, just below the flowers. The flowers are few in number, on slender pedicels. They have few white rays and a rather brownish center, giving them a very unkempt appearance as compared to the tidiness of most of the asters; the rays are long, narrow, often wavy and give the flower a spread of from 1 to 1½ inches. It is quite a common species in cool rich woods from Labrador to Ontario and south to Pa. and even farther in the mountains. It blooms during August and September.
Aster linariifolius is a peculiar, but not uncommon, aster found in dry soil in the northern parts of the United States. The stem is usually simple, with rough-margined, linear leaves and bears a single blossoms at the summit; the few rays are light violet or white and surround a brownish disk of tubular florets.
A. Pearly Everlasting. Anaphalis margaritacea.
B. Everlasting. Eugnaphalium decurrens.
Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis Margarit-Acea) is the largest flowered and the prettiest of the everlastings. It is one of the very few flowers that will naturally preserve its color and shape upon drying. Because of this fact, these flowers are often preserved for vases and are used by florists for the making of wreaths. We frequently see them dyed green, blue, red, yellow, etc.
The stems are simple, quite stout, white-woolly, leafy and 6 to 30 inches in height. The leaves are long and narrow, have a smooth edge, are grayish-green above and woolly below, and narrow into clasping bases; they are closely set around the stem from the base to the flower cluster.
The flowers are in flat-topped clusters; each head is composed of many, pearly-white, dry, overlapping scales that surround brownish-yellow, tubular florets. Before they have expanded they look like large pearls but after opening they resemble, somewhat, miniature Water-Lilies. Staminate and pistillate flowers grow on different plants. When the flowers are opened, we usually see many varieties of small moths and butterflies about them, as well as small bees. These are the useful agents for cross-fertilization. This Everlasting is very common on dry hillsides, in woods or on recently cleared land. Its range extends from N. S. to Manitoba and southwards to S. C. and Mo. It is in full bloom from July until September.
Sweet Everlasting (Gnaphalium Polycepha-Lum) has a woolly stem and wavy, lanceolate, woolly leaves. The pearly flowerheads are oval in shape; they do not expand until after they have matured. It is common in pastures everywhere.
A. Prairie Dock.
B. Compass Plant.