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Ionactis linariifolius

Ionactis linariifolius (L.) Greene

Aster linariifolius L.

Aster linariifolius L. var. victorinii Fernald

Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyAsteraceaeThe aster family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers; from the Greek ἀστήρ, “star,” for the star-shaped flowers
GenusIonactisFrom two Greek words meaning “violet rays”
SpecieslinariifoliusWith linear leaves, like Linaria

About plant names...

Flax-leaved or stiff aster is a North American native, named for its distinctive needle-like leaves.

Identification: Plants are 4-20" (10-50 cm) tall, with one or multiple mostly unbranched stems emerging directly from the ground, though branching may occur in the flowering portion. Stems vary from light green to tan to dark reddish brown. Plants may be upright or listing just above the ground. The alternate leaves are ¾-1½" (1.9-3.8 cm) × ⅛" (3.2 mm), shiny, sessile, linear, and pointed, like spruce needles. They lack teeth, but leaf edges are rough. Flowers may be solitary or in panicles. Flowers are ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) across, with 10-20 rays that are lavender-colored, and yellow central disks that become red-brown with age. They appear from August to October.

See our aster comparison table here. Or check Arieh Tel’s well-researched and informative aster comparison site.

Online References:

Ionactis linariifolius at Illinois Wildflowers

Ionactis linariifolius on www.nttlphoto.com

Ionactis linariifolius at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Ionactis linariifolius on Delaware Wildflowers

Ionactis linariifolius at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Ionactis linariifolius on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Ionactis linariifolius on hawthornhillwildflowers.blogspot.com

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 22

Ionactis linariifolius (Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster)

9/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Dunstable, MA
≈ 4½ × 4" (12 × 10 cm)

Ionactis linariifolius (Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster)

9/19/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Hollis, NH
≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 14 cm)

Ionactis linariifolius description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Oct 2013.

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Ionactis linariifolius (Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster)

9/19/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Hollis, NH
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Ionactis linariifolius (Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster)

10/5/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 14 cm)

Ionactis linariifolius (Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster)

10/5/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Ionactis linariifolius (Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster)

10/5/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3½ × 4" (9.3 × 10 cm)

Ionactis linariifolius (Flax-Leaved Aster, Stiff Aster, Flax-leaved Aster)

9/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Dunstable, MA
≈ 7 × 5" (18 × 13 cm)

Range:

About this map...