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Callistephus chinensis (L.) Nees

Chinese-aster

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Where native and non-native distributions co-occur in a county, only the native distribution is shown.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Chinese-aster is an annual, native to China and widely used in horticulture. Cultivars come in shades of white to pink, red, blue, violet, purple and yellow. This species is an occasional fugitive from flower gardens.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
Leaf type
leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant (basal)
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
  • blue to purple
  • pink to red
  • white
Tuft or plume on fruit
  • at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
  • there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
25–65 mm
Flower head width
60–80 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract color
    • the bracts are colored, or at least tinged with, pink, red or purple
    • the bracts are not colored or tinged with with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    there are three or more cycles of bracts
    Bract inner side hairs
    the bracts are not hairy on their inner surfaces
    Bract margins
    there are fine hairs along the bract margins
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are not hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are oblanceolate (widest near the tip, but otherwise narrow and tapering)
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Bract texture
    • the bracts appear thin, flexible and nearly translucent
    • the bracts have a similar texture to a leaf
    Bract tip color
    • the tips are a different color from the center of the bract
    • the tips are the same color as the center of the bract
    Bract tip shape
    the tips of the bracts are obtuse (have a blunt point)
    Bract width
    2–6
    Bracts
    there are at least two distinct forms of bracts in different cycles
    Disk flower color
    yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower looks different from the choices given
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has only one to three flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has papery scales on it
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    • the disk is flat or nearly flat across the top
    • the disk is rounded across the top
    Flower head shape
    the flower head is hemispherical (like the bottom half of a sphere)
    Flower head width
    60–80 mm
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Height of flower head base
    10–15 mm
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    NA
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has hairs on it, but the hairs have no glands
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has hairs on it
    Ovary lines or ribs
    there are two lines or ribs visible on the ovary
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is lance-shaped, but widest above the middle
    Ray flower color
    • blue to purple
    • pink to red
    • white
    Ray flowers
    • 11-15
    • 16-25
    • 26-50
    • 6-10
    • more than 50
    Ray length
    15–35 mm
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
  • Fruits or seeds
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    3–3.5 mm
    Seed hair tuft color
    • the pappus hairs are pale red to red-brown or purple
    • the pappus hairs are white or off-white
    Seed hair tuft length
    0.1–4.8 mm
    Seed tuft type
    • the pappus is made of flat scales that look split or frayed at the tips
    • the pappus is made of very fine hairs or bristles
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    • at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles
    • there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have no glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    • the plant is annual, it lacks evidence of previous years' growth
    • the plant is biennial, it appears as either first year (non-reproductive) plants or second year plants with flowers or fruit
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant (basal)
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    • the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    • the base of the leaf blade is rounded
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has simple hairs with no glands, and not tangled or wooly
    Leaf blade length
    25–65 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is spatulate (spoon-shaped; narrow near the base, then suddenly widening to a rounded tip)
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    Leaf blade width
    20–40 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk length
    Up to 40 mm
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Stem internode hair type
    at least some of the hairs on the stem have glands
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Callistephus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Callistephus chinensis (L.) Nees E

Chinese-aster. Aster chinensis L.; Callistemma chinense (L.) Skeels; Callistephus hortensis Cass.; Diplopappus chinensis (L.) Less. • CT, MA, ME. Waste areas, pond shores.