Ontario Wildflowers website

Flat-topped White Aster
Doellingeria umbellata
(formerly Aster umbellatus)

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata) Other common names: Flat-topped Aster, Parasol Whitetop, Umbellate Aster

Other scientific names: Aster umbellatus, Aster pubentior

French names: Aster ombelles

Family: Composite Family (Asteraceae)

Group: Asters

Distinctive features: Flat-topped white flower head with white flowers. Vein pattern on leaves.

Similar species:
  •   Large-leaved Aster (Eurybia macrophylla)


Flowers: Summer, Autumn;  White;  7 or more parts (petals);  2cm in diameter. Ray flowers: 4-15, white. Disc flowers: 10-40, yellow becoming brown. Usually arranged in a flat-topped cluster, but with exceptions.

Leaves: Alternate, Simple;  Lance-shaped, with prominent veins. They are smooth when rubbed in one direction, rough the other way.

Height: 100-150 cm (39-59 in)

Stem: Sometimes purplish.

Habitat: Forests, Wet Areas, Moist Meadows;  Moist woods and swamps, fens.

Grows in Sun/Shade: Sun

Lifespan: Perennial.  

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 462    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 96   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Moderately common.

Notes: This Aster is fairly easy to recognize due to the flat-topped flower umbel (although it does vary a bit). Look for the prominent vein pattern on the leaves, which is distinctive.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: umbellata: bearing umbelsumbellatus: like umbels


Photographs: 164 photographs available, of which 13 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Here's how Flat-topped White Aster got its name - the flowers are in a more or less flat-topped umbel.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

This photo shows the overall shape and form of Flat-topped White Aster.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

The white flowers of Flat-topped White Aster.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Close-up of the flowers. Note the relatively few very pale blue or white rays ("petals").

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Flat-topped White Aster seeds in late fall.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Flower buds at the end of July.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Flat-topped White Aster leaf, showing upper surface.The leaves have very prominent veins.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Underside of a leaf.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Leaves. Note the pattern of the veins.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Underside of a leaf, with dew.

Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

Flat-topped White Aster stems are finely hairy, and sometimes purplish.


Range map for Flat-topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellata)

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)