Family:     Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Duration:  Biennial - Perennial

Height:     50 - 200 cm (1.5 - 6 ft)

Blooming: July-Sept.

 

TAll flat-topped white aster

Doellingeria umbellata Nees

Stem: single or multiple, ascending or erect.  It can be hairless or sparsely hairy.  It usually has linear furrows scratched into its shape with a red to green color.   

Flowers: large, composite flower heads that have white ray flowers and yellow disk florets.  One plant can have as many as 300 flower heads, but usually producing 20-100.  The peduncles have fine hair covering them.

Leaves: alternately arranged along the stem with no lobes.  They can be up elliptically shaped or more lanceolate.  Leaves can be attached directly to the stem (sessile) or have a small petiole.  The bottom of the leaf is pale green to whitish while the top is dark green.  They can grow to 15 cm (6 in) long and 4.6 cm (1.8 in) wide.

Sun: Full sun to filtered shade

 

CommentsHair on the leaf is dependent on the variety with -var. pubens having dense hair and -var. umbellata having no to sparse hair.  Previous name was Aster umbellatus.

Etymology: The genus, Doellingeria, is in honor of the German anatomist and botanist, Ignatz Döllinger.  The epithet is derived from its umbel shaped flower arrangement.

Butterfly host plant:  Tall flat-topped aster is a host plant to the larvae of the Harris' checkerspot (Chlosyne harrisii).  It can serve as a food source for adult pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Landscape: Blooming in late summer, the flat-topped asters are white clusters of enticing flowers for the aesthetics of the viewer as well as for pollinators.  It prefers wet soils and is not prone to pests.  A great choice for your meadow gardens.

Species Present and Native