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Olympic mountain-aster

wayside aster


Habit Perennials 20–55 cm (caudices woody). Perennials, 60–120 cm (caudices stout). Perennials, 10–160 cm (usually cespitose, induments usually of stipitate-glandular and smooth-surfaced, curved or twisted woolly hairs, plants with caudices or short rhizomes, roots fibrous).

ascending to erect, pilose or glandular-pubescent.

erect, pilose to glandular-pubescent.

ascending or erect, simple, glabrate, puberulent, pilose, cottony, or woolly, eglandular or glandular.


mid and distal blades elliptic to elliptic-oblong, 2–4 cm × 4–13 mm, sparsely scabrous to stipitate-glandular abaxially, moderately stipitate-glandular adaxially.

middle and distal cauline blades lanceolate-elliptic, 5–9 cm × 15–30 mm, abaxial faces usually glabrous, sometimes sparsely pubescent, adaxial faces glandular-pubescent.

cauline; alternate;

sessile (proximal withering by flowering; proximalmost reduced, scalelike);

blades (1-nerved) ovate, elliptic, oblong, lanceolate, or linear (± uniform in size), margins entire, faces glabrate, scabrous, cottony, or woolly, eglandular or stipitate-glandular.





usually 2–4 in racemiform to corymbiform arrays, somtimes borne singly.

5–50(–120) in racemiform to paniculiform arrays.

radiate or discoid, usually in open, racemiform, paniculiform, or corymbiform arrays, sometimes borne singly.


turbinate-obconic, 7–9 mm.

turbinate, 8–10 mm.

turbinate-cylindric, turbinate, turbinate-obconic, or campanulate, 10–25 mm diam.


± flat, pitted, epaleate.

Ray florets


0–21 (usually 5, 8, or 13), pistillate, fertile;

corollas violet-purple, purple, pink, or white.

Disc florets

10–35, bisexual, fertile;

corollas yellow, ± ampliate, tubes shorter than funnelform throats, lobes 5, erect or reflexed, triangular;

style-branch appendages lanceolate.


in 2–3 series (whitish), lance-linear (unequal), apices acute, abaxial faces stipitate-glandular.

in 3–6 series (sometimes reddish at margins and apices), linear to linear-oblong (strongly unequal), apices acute to acuminate, abaxial faces stipitate-glandular.

20–50 in 3–6 series, ± unequal (± appressed, often reddish or purplish at margins and tips), 1-nerved (keeled), ovate, lance-oblong, lanceolate, linear-oblong, or linear, chartaceous at bases, margins sometimes hyaline, especially proximally;

apices acute to obtuse, green, usually puberulent, tomentose, and/or stipitate-glandular, sometimes glabrous.


obconic, pilose;

pappus bristles in 2 series, ± barbellate.


pappus bristles in 2 series, smooth or ± barbellate.

± obconic, flattened, laterally 1–2-ribbed, sometimes with 1–2 additional nerves on each face, glabrous, pilose, or strigose, eglandular;

pappi persistent, of 30–50 whitish to tawny, barbellate or smooth, apically clavate or more conspicuously barbellate bristles in 2(–3) series (outer usually 1 mm or less, sometimes 0, inner 5–10 mm).


7–13(–21), white.


= 9.

Eucephalus paucicapitatus

Eucephalus vialis


Phenology Flowering Jul–Aug. Flowering Jul.
Habitat Open subalpine meadows or scree slopes Dry open oak or coniferous woods
Elevation 800–3300 m [2600–10800 ft] 200–500 m [700–1600 ft]

Eucephalus paucicapitatus is found on Vancouver Island, where it is very uncommon, and the Olympic Peninsula. It is closely related to E. gormanii.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Of conservation concern.

Eucephalus vialis is only known from Lane and Douglas counties. It is considered threatened. It is in the Center for Plant Conservation’s National Collection of Endangered Plants.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Species 10 (10 in the flora).

Eucephalus, a relatively well-marked western North American group, has been treated as a section of Aster or as a distinct genus. Recent molecular evidence places Eucephalus, together with the eastern North American Doellingeria, at the base of the North American clade of Astereae.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

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Parent taxa Asteraceae > tribe Astereae > Eucephalus Asteraceae > tribe Astereae > Eucephalus Asteraceae > tribe Astereae
Sibling taxa
E. breweri, E. elegans, E. engelmannii, E. glabratus, E. glaucescens, E. gormanii, E. ledophyllus, E. tomentellus, E. vialis
E. breweri, E. elegans, E. engelmannii, E. glabratus, E. glaucescens, E. gormanii, E. ledophyllus, E. paucicapitatus, E. tomentellus
Subordinate taxa
E. breweri, E. elegans, E. engelmannii, E. glabratus, E. glaucescens, E. gormanii, E. ledophyllus, E. paucicapitatus, E. tomentellus, E. vialis
1.Ray florets usually 1–4, often 0→ 2
1.Ray florets commonly 5, 8, or 13+→ 5
2.Ray florets 0; leaves 5–9 cm, ± glabrous abaxially, glandular adaxially; plants 60–120 cm; open woods, Lane County, OregonE. vialis
2.Ray florets usually 1–4; leaves 2–6 cm, hairy; plants 10–100 cm→ 3
3.Leaves glabrous or nearly so abaxially, moderately to densely hairy adaxiallyE. tomentellus
3.Leaves glabrous, eglandular or sparsely glandular on both faces→ 4
4.Phyllaries subequalE. breweri
4.Phyllaries strongly unequalE. glabratus
5.Stems, leaves, and phyllaries glabrous, glaucous; plants 40–160 cm; leaves linear tonarrowly lance-elliptic, 4–10 cm; rays purpleE. glaucescens
5.Stems, leaves, and phyllaries pubescent or glabrate, glandular or not, not glaucous; plants 10–120(–150) cm; leaves elliptic, oblong, lance-ovate, lance-elliptic, lanceolate, linear-oblong or -lanceolate, 1.5–10 cm; rays white, pink, violet, or purple.→ 6
6.Leaves 5–10 cm, elliptic to lanceolate, glabrous and eglandular, or abaxially ± glandular and/or villous; plants 50–150 cm; rays white to pinkE. engelmannii
6.Leaves 1.5–7 cm, elliptic, elliptic-oblong, oblong, lance-ovate, lance-elliptic, linear-oblong or -lanceolate, glandular or not, scabrous or cottony; plants 10–80 cm; rays white or violet to purple→ 7
7.Rays white; stems pilose or sparsely to moderately glandular-pubescent→ 8
7.Rays violet to purple; stems scabrous (to scabrellous) or cottony and/or glandular-pubescent (especially peduncles)→ 9
8.Phyllaries lance-ovate; Cascade Mountains, OregonE. gormanii
8.Phyllaries lance-linear; Olympic Mountains, WashingtonE. paucicapitatus
9.Leaves moderately scabrellous (and sometimes glandular) on both facesE. elegans
9.Leaves sparsely scabrous abaxially, strongly cottony adaxiallyE. ledophyllus
Synonyms Aster engelmannii var. paucicapitatus, Aster paucicapitatus Aster vialis Aster section E., Aster subsection E.
Name authority (B. L. Robinson) Greene: Pittonia 3: 56. (1896) Bradshaw: Torreya 20: 122. (1921) Nuttall: Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 7: 298. (1840)
Source Flora of North America vol. 20, p. 42. Flora of North America vol. 20, p. 42. Flora of North America vol. 20, p. 39.
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