Western aster, long-leaved aster
Western states between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean
Meadows and open areas, from foothills to subalpine zones
Thin, lanceolate, up to 6 inches long on the lower stems; upper leaves are shorter and linear
July to September
Symphyotrichum ascendens is a freely branching plant, forming upright clusters of pale purple or lavender flowerheads (15 to 40 ray florets), centered on a ring of yellow disc florets (usually 25 to 65) that become purplish when mature. The involucral phyllaries are dark green (red at the tip), short but relatively wide, outwardly curving, and arranged in several overlapping rows. Their surfaces have a downy coating. Flowers measure up to 2 inches in diameter.
Leaves and stem are somewhat rough due to short, coarse hairs. The plant has a wide distribution in the Great Basin and across the mountain ranges of the west.