Short-rayed Alkali Aster

Symphyotrichum frondosum

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Status

Endangered (Federal)
Red List (Provincial)

Description

The Short-rayed Alkali Aster is a small annual herb that grows 5 cm to 60 cm and sometimes has many branches. It usually grows upright but may also grow along the ground. Its Aster-like flower heads are composed of many small flowers. The centre of the head is composed of small, yellow, rayless flowers, and these are surrounded by flowers with white or pink petals.

Habitat

In the southern Okanagan Valley this plant has been found mainly around lakeshore habitats in moist drawdown zones of sandy beaches, and the perimeters of alkaline lakes and ponds. These sites have water that draws down in the late summer and early fall, exposing shallowly sloping, moist sites which allows these plants to flower and disperse seed.

Threats

-Beach management activities such as roto-tilling, sand sifting, lawn mowing and beach cleaning
-Heavy beach use by swimmers, boaters and children (digging in the sand, boat launching and storage, trampling and compaction) has a direct impact on this species' habitat
-Invasive plants

You Can Help!

-Keep the area free of invasive weeds
-Avoid trampling or driving over the plant and the surrounding habitat
-Learn more about this plant and its biology

Resources