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..
Low, mostly branching, perennial herbs with numerous narrow, entire, 1-nerved leaves, and rather large and showy heads of tubular and radiate flowers terminating the stem and branches. Basal leaves none. Involucral bracts coriaceous, imbricated in several series, appressed, their tips not herbaceous. Ray-flowers normally violet, pistillate. Disk-flowers perfect, the corolla with a campanulate limb. Achenes villous. Pappus double, the inner series of long capillary bristles, the outer much shorter. [Greek, violet rays.]
Three known species, natives of North America, the following typical.
Aster linariifolius L. Sp. Pl. 874. 1753.
Diplopappus linariifolius Hook. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 21. 1834.
Ionactis linariifolius Greene, Pittonia 3: 245. 1897.
Stems tufted, stiff, puberulent or scabrous, very leafy, corymbosely branched above, 6'-2° high. Leaves linear or spatulate, spreading, 1-nerved, rigid, entire, rough usually ciliolate on the margins, mucronulate, q"-i8" long, \"-2" wide, sessile, those of the branches much smaller and somewhat appressed; heads several, terminating the branchlets, about 1'broad; involucre broadly turbinate, its bracts linear-lanceolate, keeled, green on the back, appressed, imbricated in 4 or 5 series, the inner obtuse, the outer usually acute; rays 10-15, violet, rarely white, 4"-5" long, entire, or their tips dentate, or even laciniate; pappus bristles in 2 series, tawny, the outer ones setose; achenes silky.
In dry or rocky soil, Maine to Florida, west to Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas. Recorded from Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec, apparently erroneously. Sandpaper- or pine-starwort. July-Oct.