|Photo: J.C. Semple, University of Waterloo|
Features: Crooked-stem aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides) is a tall (up to one metre) perennial wildflower that grows along shaded stream banks in woodlands. The stem appears kinked in places (hence the common name) and the leaves are quite large and noticeably toothed or serrated. In fall, it produces pale blue flowers which are visited by bees and butterflies. This species belongs to the daisy or Compositae family, characterised by flower heads made up of many small flowers.
Status: Threatened Provincially and Nationally
Range: Crooked-Stem Aster occurs in the eastern United States, from New Hampshire south to North Carolina, and west to Minnesota where there is a disjunct population. In Canada, it occurs in about 20 small populations (most less than 10 plants) in Elgin and Oxford counties and Haldimand-Norfolk Regional Municipality in southwestern Ontario.
Threats: Crooked-Stem Aster may never have been common in Ontario, and there is no evidence for historical declines. Habitat loss as woodlots are harvested is the main threat.
Protection: The Crooked-stem Aster is listed as a provincially threatened species. Ontario's Endangered Species Act 2007 protects threatened species from harmful acts such as possessing, selling, trading and killing. One Ontario population grows in a Conservation Area where it receives additional habitat protection.
Text Sources: Zhang et al. 1998c
Last Modified Date: October 2008
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