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Alaska Wildflowers | Purple

Siberian aster flower blooming in Alaska

Siberian aster

Eurybia sibirica

Alt. Names:
Arctic aster

Genus: Eurybia (aster)
Family: Asteraceae/Compositae (Aster family)
Order: Asterales

Duration: Perennial

Uses: I found no uses specifically with Eruybia sibirica. With some other species of aster, young leaves can be cooked and eaten and the roots can be cooked or made into a soup.

Identification and Information – Siberian Aster

Siberian aster typically grows between 15-30 cm (6-12 in) tall with a large, ray-like purple flower. Roots are a creeping rhizome. The stems are frequently solitary but may stem basally. Older stems become woody. Leaves are dark green, cauline, slightly toothed or irregularly serrate, and veined. The flowers are usually single but may grow as a small inflorescence. The flower is composed of 12-50 ray florets that are purple, pale purple, or white. The 25-125 disk florets are yellow to purple.


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The common name, Arctic aster may also refer to Eurybia merita (subalpine aster) which is not native to Alaska, but found in the northwestern states, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Distribution and Habitat

Eurybia sibirica is widely distributed across the circumboreal subarctic in North America and Eurasia. In North America it is native to Alaska, northern Canada, and the Pacific Northwest including Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

The Asteraceae family is the largest plant family in the world with close to 25,000 species on every continent except Antarctica.

The habitat of Siberian aster is widely diverse. It lives in wet meadows and boreal forests, alpine meadows and in stream banks or lakeshores. It seems to prefer gravelly or sandy soils.

References

Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers, Pratt, Verna E. pg 5
Eurybia sibirica  (L.) G.L. Nesom, ITIS Database
Eurybia sibirica (L.) G.L. Nesom arctic aster, USDA Database
5. Eurybia sibirica (Linnaeus) G. L. Nesom, Phytologia. 77: 261. 1995., Flora of North America – www.eFloras.org
Daisies: they love me or love me not?, All You Need is Biology, Laia Barres Gonzalez

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