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Flat-topped Aster

Species

Common Name Flat-topped Aster

Latin Name: Doellingeria umbellata

[Pronounced: "doh-lin-JIRR-ee-ah um-bell-ATE-ah"]

This plant was formerly Aster umbellatus.

Type of Plant: Forb


Identification Helps: A white aster blooming in August and September, up to five ft tall, with yellow to purple disks center part of flower). Toothless, lance-shaped leaves. Flowers often in flat arrangement to top of the plant.


Similar Species: It is one of the only white, tall asters in bloom in August and September.


Preferred Growing Conditions in the Wild: Grows in mesic (normal) to hydric (wet) prairies and other native herbaceous habitats.


Seasons of Growth and Bloom: Blooms from late August and well into September, sometime early October.


Natural Distribution in Ohio: Flat-topped Aster grows in about half of Ohio's counties, especially in the Glaciated and Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau regions of NE and Eastern Ohio.


Description and General Information: This beautiful white aster is not restricted to prairies. It grows in open woods, ditches, and other sunny, moist habitats.


It should be noted that the common name, "Aster," is no longer a part of any scientific name of any native plant in North America. Until recently, the formal name of this species was Aster umbellatus. But modern genetic studies have shown that none of the native "asters" are really closely related to the authentic asters of Eurasia. Consequently, all of the native asters have been placed in new genera, in this case, Doellingeria.

The common name, "aster," has been retained however.