Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs or shrubs, rootstock usually rhizomatous; stems usually leafy, branched or unbranched, pubescent, villous, glandular or eglandular. Leaves alternate, cordate, ovate, elliptic, lanceolate, linear or spathulate, sessile or stalked. Heads solitary or many, corymbose or panicled. Involucre hemispheric or campanulate; bracts few to many· seriate, subequal, imbricate. Ray florets, white, pink, purplish or blue, female, 1 - 2-seriate; ligule relatively long or broad. Disc florets yellow or purplish, bisexual, usually ca 1 mm broad, 5-lobed. Receptacle flat or convex, foveolate or fimbrillate, sometimes pseudo paleaceous. Anther bases obtuse or entire. Achenes compressed.

America, Euresia and Africa; ca 60 species, ca 23 in India.

Literature. GRIERSON, A.J.C. (1964) A revision of the Asters of the Himalayan area. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 26: 67-163. f. 1-11, t. 8-16.


1a. Heads usually many 2
b. Heads solitary or up to 4 11
2a. Pappus usually reddish or reddish broown 3
b. Pappus usually white or buff 7
3a. Heads ca 6 mm across 2. Aster albescens
b. Heads usually 10-15 mm across 4
4a. Pappus usually 2.5-3 mm long 5
b. Pappus usually 5 mm long 6
5a. Leaves distantly denticulate; ligules ca 7 mm long 18. Aster sikkimensis
b. Leaves entire; ligules ca 1.0-1.5 cm long 3. Aster altaicus
6a. Involucral bracts spathulate 1. Aster ageratoides
b. Involucral bracts linear 22. Aster trinervius
7a. Heads 2.0-3.5 cm across 8
b. Heads 0.6-1.5 cm across 9
8a. Leaves elliptic or oblanceolate, 1.0-5.0 x 0.5-1.5 cm 11. Aster indamellus
b. Leaves ovate or lanceolate, 3-15 x 1.5-7.5 cm 15. Aster peduncularis
9a. Heads usually 0.6-0.8 cm across 17. Aster pycnophyllus
b. Heads usually 1-1.5 cm across 10
10a. Herbs, flexuose, glabrous or puberulous; leaves 6-17 x 1.5-5 cm 18. Aster sikkimensis
b. Herbs, densely glandular pubescent; leaves 2.5-6.5 x 0.5 -1.5 cm 23. Aster vestitus
11a. Heads usually 2.5-8 cm across 12
b. Heads usually up to 2 cm across 19
12a. Ligules 2.5-3.5 cm long 13
b. Ligules up to 2 cm long 14
13a. Upper parts of peduncle naked; involucral bracts usually uniseriate 6. Aster diplostephioides
b. Upper parts of peduncle leafy; involucral bracts usually 2-3-seriate 7. Aster falconeri
14a. Pappus hairs red or pale brown 15
b. Pappus hairs whitish 17
15a. Leaves acuminate 20. Aster thomsonii
b. Leaves obtuse or acute 16
16a. Pappus hairs reddish 21. Aster tricephalus
b. Pappus hairs brown 16. Aster platylepsis
17a. Herbs, rarely more than 15 cm high 8. Aster flaccidus
b. Herbs, up to 80 cm high 18 0
18a. Leaves ovate or lanceolate 15. Aster peduncularis
b. Leaves usually linear-elliptic or obovate-oblong 13. Aster molliusculus
19a. Pappus yellow white or pinkish 20
b. Pappus usually reddish or brownish 25
20a. Ligules ca 1 cm long 21
b. Ligules 1.5-2.5 cm long 22
21a. Leaves linear-elliplic or obovate-oblong, or lanceolate, 2-3-toothed 13. Aster molliusculus
b. Leaves oblanceolate-spathulate or linear, entire 14. Aster neoelegans
22a. Heads ca 1.5 cm across 23
b. Heads ca 2.0 cm across 24
23a. Achenes silky hairy; pappus 1.5 mm long 4. Aster asteroides
b. Achenes densely white pubescent; pappus ca 5 mm long 19. Aster stracheyi
24a. Leaves cordate at base; petioles 5-8 cm long 12. Aster laka
b. Leaves rounded or attenuate at base; petioles 1.0-4.5 cm long 10. Aster himalaicus
25a. Herbs up to ca 35 cm high 26
b. Herbs up to ca 100 cm high 27
26a. Petioles 2.5-5.0 cm long; involucral bracts glandular and pilose; achenes ca 1.0 cm long 9. Aster heliopsis
b. Petioles 5-8 cm long,; involucral bracts sparsely white villous; achenes ca 3 mm long 12. Aster laka
27a. Leaves half amplexicaul at base 21. Aster tricephalus
b. Leaves attenuate at base 28
28a. Strigose pubescent herbs; ray florets ca 16 3. Aster altaicus
b. Sparsely or moderately pilose herbs; ray florets 30-60 5. Aster barbellatus

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