Time of bloom: August to October.
Seed-time: September to November.
Range: Quebec to the Northwest Territory, southward to the Carolinas, Alabama, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. Habitat: Moist soil; fields, meadows, roadsides, waste places.
One of the handsomest of its family, cultivated in Europe for its beauty, escaped, and locally naturalized there. In spite of its name the plant is more common in the meadows and thickets of the Middle Western States than in New England.
Stem two to eight feet tall, branching at the top, and the branchlets glandular-viscid, rather stout, erect, often of a reddish color and covered with fine, bristly hairs. Leaves alternate, lance-shaped, deep green, entire, acute, rather thin, softly hairy, clasping the stem by an auriculate base. Heads numerous, clustered at the summit of stem and branches; each nearly two inches broad, with orange-yellow disk changing to reddish brown with age, and forty to sixty long, narrow rays, which are usually deep violet-purple, rarely white, occasionally red or pink; as in all the asters the rays are pistillate and fertile, the disk-florets perfect; bracts of the involucre nearly equal, green, linear, spreading, very soft and lax, glandular hairy. Achenes bristly-hairy, with a thick tuft of tawny, brown pappus about three times their length.
Close and repeated cutting for the purpose of starving the perennial roots and preventing seed development. The plant is at once destroyed by cultivation of the ground.