Symphyotrichum dumosum

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Symphyotrichum dumosum
Symphyotrichum dumosum IWF.jpg
Photo by John Hilty hosted at
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Symphyotrichum
Species: S. dumosum
Binomial name
Symphyotrichum dumosum
(L.) G.L. Nesom
Natural range of Symphyotrichum dumosum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common Name(s): long-stalked aster;[1] rice button aster[2]

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Aster dumosus; A. dumosus var. coridifolius (Michaux) Torrey & A. Gray; A. coridifolius Michaux; Aster dumosus Linnaeus var. pergracile Wiegand; A. dumosus Linnaeus var. strictior Torrey & A. Gray; Aster dumosus Linnaeus var. subulifolius Torrey & A. Gray.[3]

Variations: Symphyotrichum dumosum (Linnaeus) Nesom var. gracilipes (Wiegand) Nesom; Symphyotrichum dumosum (Linnaeus) Nesom var. pergracile (Wiegand) Nesom; Symphyotrichum dumosum (Linnaeus) Nesom var. strictior (Torrey & A. Gray) Nesom; Symphyotrichum dumosum (Linnaeus) Nesom var. subulifolium (Torrey & A. Gray) Nesom.[4]


Symphyotrichum dumosum is a dioecious perennial forb/herb.[2] The plant is stiff with leafy branches possessing numerous flower heads. Flowers consist of white to pale lavender rays with a yellow to brown central disk.[5][6] Rays are 3-5 mm long, 0.9-1.2 mm wide, and numbered between 8-15 per flower. Its roots are creeping, branching, short, stout, and herbaceous[6] averaging a maximum depth of 17.00 cm and having a mean root porosity of 54.5%[7]


S. dumosum occurs from New Brunswick and Maine, south to Florida, and westward to Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario, Canada.[2]



S. dumosum has been found in marsh margins, limestone glades, open calcareous glades, pond shores, wetland margins, lake shores, riverbanks, floodplain forests, scrubby sandhills, pine flatwoods, and longleaf pine-wiregrass communities.[8] It is also found in disturbed areas including burned longleaf pinelands, along highways, powerline corridors, potato fields, and along fences.[8] S. dumosum is frequent and abundant in the Clayhill Longleaf Woodlands, Upper Panhandle Savannas, and Panhandle Seepage Savannas community types as described in Carr et al. (2010).[9] While widely found in the southern extent of its range, this species is restricted to shorelines in the northern portion of its range.[5] In clayhill longleaf woodlands of the Florida panhandle, S. dumosum occurred in 93% of plots and had a mean coverage of 0.0109 m-2. Upper panhandle savannas had the same mean coverage but a higher frequency (100%) of S. dumosum, while panhandle seepage savannas had a 100% frequency but 0.0035 m-2 mean coverage.[10] When exposed to soil disturbance by military training in West Georgia, S. dumosum responds negatively by way of absence.[11]

Associated species: Sporobolus vaginiflorus, Sporobolus junceus, Rhynchospora, Pontederia, Coreopsis gladiata, Bidens laevis, Andropogon glomeratus, Solidago spp., Eupatorium serotinum, Conyza canadensis, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, and Schoenus nigricans.[8]


Flowering occurs in late August through October,[1] although reports of flowering exist for several months throughout the year.[12]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by wind. [13]

Fire ecology

Symphyotrichum dumosum persists in frequently burned (1-5 year fire interval) upland longleaf pine communities[14]; however, in a 47 year unburned Florida area (NB66), it increased from zero to 31% relative frequency in 1 m2 plots.[15], suggesting tolerance of shade and fire exclusion. Populations of S. dumosum have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[16][17][18]


Symphyotrichum dumosum is known to attract several species of native bees.[5] S. dumosum has been observed to host pollinators such as Calliopsis coloradensis (family Andrenidae).[19]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley AS (2015) Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 USDA NRCS (2016) The PLANTS Database (, 12 January 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
  3. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  4. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Plant database: Symphyotrichum dumosum. (12 January 2018) Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. URL:
  6. 6.0 6.1 Chmielewski JG, Semple JC (2001) The biology of Canadian weeds. 113. Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (Willd.) Nesom [Aster lanceolatus Willd.] and S. lateriflorum (L.) Love & Love [Aster lateriflorus (L.) Britt.]. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 81:829-849.
  7. Brewer JS, Baker DJ, Nero AS, Patterson AL, Roberts RS, Turner LM (2011) Carnivory in plants as a beneficial trait in wetlands. Aquatic Botany 94:62-70.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Florida State University Herbarium Database. URL: Last accessed: June 2021. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, Keith Bradley, Robert K. Godfrey, and Ann F. Johnson, R. Komarek, Travis MacClendon, Karen MacClendon, John B. Nelson, Katelin D. Pearson, and Cecil R Slaughter. States and counties: Florida: Calhoun, Flagler, Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla. South Carolina: Richland.
  9. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  10. Carr SC, Robertson KM, Peet RK (2010) A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75(2):153-189.
  11. Dale, V.H., S.C. Beyeler, and B. Jackson. (2002). Understory vegetation indicators of anthropogenic disturbance in longleaf pine forests at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. Ecological Indicators 1(3):155-170.
  12. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 12 JAN 2018
  13. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  14. Robertson, K.M. 2017. Pebble Hill Fire Plots unpublished data. Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, Tallahasse, FL.
  15. Clewell AF (2014) Forest development 44 years after fire exclusion in formerly annually burned oldfield pine woodland, Florida. Castanea 79(3):147-167.
  16. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  17. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  18. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  19. [1]