Ontario Wildflowers website

Rush Aster
Symphyotrichum boreale
(formerly Aster junciformis)

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale) Other common names: Northern Aster, Northern Bog Aster, Slender White Aster

Other scientific names: Aster junciformis, Aster borealis, Aster junceus, Aster laxifolius

French names: Aster boréale

Family: Composite Family (Asteraceae)

Group: Asters

Distinctive features: Long and very narrow leaves, inrolled along edges. Grows in bogs.

Similar species:
  •   Bog Aster (Oclemena nemoralis) - also grows in bogs; flowers larger, leaves larger.

  •   Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum) - also grows in wet areas; leaves larger; often has purple stem.

  •   Grass-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia) - is a Goldenrod; leaves slightly wider.

  •   Bog Goldenrod (Solidago uliginosa) - also grows in bogs; is a Goldenrod.

Flowers: Summer, Autumn;  White;  7 or more parts (petals);  White.

Leaves: very narrow, inrolled along the edges.

Habitat: Wet Areas;  Bogs, fens.

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 460    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 96, 360   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Common, but seldom seen due to its habitat.

Notes: This Aster is called Rush Aster due to its long and narrow leaves (rush-like).

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: boreale: northern

Photographs: 133 photographs available, of which 13 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

The flowers are sparse in this species.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

The open, sparse aspect of this plant.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

Closeup view of a flower.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

View from underneath a flower.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

With a ruler to show the flower size.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

Sometimes the flowers have a lot more petals, and the petals are not as long and narrow as usual.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

A spent flower, with the petals curling back.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)


Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

The leaves of this species are very long and narrow. The edges are slightly curled under.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

An entire leaf.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

View of an entire Rush Aster plant.

Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

Rush Aster seed head.

Range map for Rush Aster (Symphyotrichum boreale)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)