Toothed White-Topped Aster (Sericocarpus asteroides). Note the sparse rays between petals. Location: Saint Mary's Wilderness.
White Wood Aster: (Eurybia divaricata, syn. Aster divaricatus): Note the stalked , heavily toothed, heart-shaped leaves. Leaves are not notched at its stem like others. Often has a reddish stem. Location: AT, Three Ridges Wilderness, GWNF, VA.
Whorled Wood Aster (Oclemena acuminatus, syn. Aster acuminatus) - Large, toothed leaves appear whorled around the stem beneath a cluster of flowers with sparse petals. Location: Saint Mary's Wilderness.
Flat Topped White Aster (Doellingeria umbellatus, syn. Aster umbellatus) - 2-7 ft. Found in thickets and along edges. Yellow central disk turns purple with age. Location: Spruce Knob Lake, WV.
Crooked-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides, syn. Aster prenanthoides): Purple stem changes direction at every leaf axil. Flowers white to pale blue. Leaves usually stemless. Location: Roaring Plains, WV.
Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides, syn. Aster ericoides): Note the small rigid thin leaves. Grows in dry open places. Location: Dragon's Tooth Trailhead, VA.
Lowrie's Aster (Symphyotrichum lowrieanum, syn. Aster lowrieanus) White to pale blue. Note the flat winged leaf petioles. This is specific to this variety of aster. Woodlands. Location: World's End SP, VA.
Shreber's Aster (Eurybia shreberi, syn. Aster shreberi): Best identified by it's heavily notched, large basal leaves. Location: Cranberry Backcountry, WV.
Heart-leaved Aster (white) (Symphyotrichum cordifolium, syn. Aster cordifolius): Leaves broadly heart shaped but not as large as Shreber's Aster. Found in open woods. Location: Cranberry Backcountry, WV.
Small-flowered or Old Field White Aster (Symphyotrichum racemosum, syn. Aster vimeneus): Slender plant with thin, lanceolet leaves. Leaves on flower branches much smaller. Flower 3/8" across.
Willowleaf Aster (
Symphyotrichum praealtum, syn. Aster praealtus). Flower branches can be confused with S. racemosum (above) but note the extremely long grass-like leaves on the main stem - up to five inches.
Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum laterflorum, syn. Aster lateriflorus): Another small Aster. Much branched from top to bottom. Flower disks change from yellow to light red to purple as the blossoms age providing the "Calico Cat" effect.
Bushy Aster (Symphyotrichum dumosus): A smooth aster having a single stem and willow-like leaves. Flowers arise from stems at nearly every leaf axil. Mostly a coastal plant.
Hairy White Aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum): 1-2 ft tall. Cluster of 3/4" flowers at the top. Note the hairy stem and leaves.
White Panicle Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum, syn. Aster lanceolatus, Aster simplex): Erect plant with lanceolet leaves. Large leaves continue up flower branches (panicles). Flowers at the end of branches only.
Daisy, Oxeye (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum): Grows to 3 ft. Likes sun but can also be found in the shade. Blooms in summer. Location: Mount Rogers N.R.A., VA.
More Aster-like Flowers
Daisey Fleabane (Erigeron annuus). Comes in white and pink. Found in sunny areas. Blooms June through October. The dried flowers were thought to prevent fleas in homes, hence the common name. Location: Mountainside Tr, Canaan Mt, MNF, WV.
False Daisy (Eclipta prostrata):
Diminutive flower (less than 1/4") attached at leaf axils.
Low growing mats. Leaves thinly lanceolet. In the aster
Climbing Fumitory, Mountain Fringe, Allegheny Vine (Adlumia fungosa): Vines can grow up to 12 feet in length. Likes to grow on rock faces. Location" Long Pond Trail. Photo by Ken Clark.
Squirrel-corn (Dicentra canadensis): Similar to Dutchman's Britches but more heart shaped. Photo by Dimitri Tundra.
Tall Deer Berry (Vaccinium stamineum): A blueberry-like heath with wide open white flowers/w yellow stamens and pistils. Grows to about 6 feet. Blooms in May. Bears green to yellow fruit. Location: AT, James River Face, Gleenwood RD, JNF, VA.
Mountain Sandwort (Arenaria groenlandica): Similar to Chickweed but with only slightly notched petals. Photo by Dimitri Tundra.
Bienniel Gaura (Gaura biennis): Flowers white (to pink with age). Note the cross-shaped stigma. 2-5 feet. Meadows. Location: Dragon's Tooth trailhead, VA.
Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum): Agressive invasive. Broad, opposite, alternating lancolete leaves. Flower spikes at leaf axils. Leaves turn orange in the fall. Location: Kaymoor Tr, New River Gorge NR, WV
Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis): White, often with purple streaks. Opposing lancelet leaves that nearly join around the stem. Blooms May - July. Location: Location: Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship.
Striped or Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata): AKA Tea Berry. Creamy white nodding flowers with dark green, heavily veined basal leaves. Foliage is evergreen. Supposed to bloom in April and May but this and other specimens were found at their peak in Mid-June all along ridge trails in the Overall Run area of SNP, VA. The photo of the green seed pods was taken by Michelle Molina in PA.
Dutchman's Britches (Dicentra cucullaria): Pantaloon shaped flowers on naked stems above variegated basal leaves. Blooms April-May. Location: Shenk's Ferry Wild Flower Preserve, Holtwood Recreation Area, PA.
Virginia Pennywort (Obolaria virginica). This little beauty only grows to four inches and is easy to miss as it pokes its way through the dead leaves of the forest floor in May. Location: G. Richard Thompson W.M.A., VA. Photo by Ken Clark, 05/09.
Tinted Spurge (Euphorbia commutata): Like a spurges it exudes a milky substance from its stem. Small, white false flowers develope between each pair of leaves. Photo by Dimitri Tundra.
Pilewort or Fireweed (Erechitites hieracifolia):
White rayless flowers never really open until it is time
to release the tufts of wind borne seeds. Location AFT,
Indian Pipe (Monotropa
uniflora) : Saprophytic
plant w/o any chlorophyll. Gets it's nutrients from
decaying organic material through a symbiotic
relationship with a fungus that grows on its roots.
Blooms June-Sept. Location: Gunpowder Loop Trail,
Hemlock Gorge Hike, MD.
Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) : Saprophytic plant w/o any chlorophyll. Gets it's nutrients from decaying organic material through a symbiotic relationship with a fungus that grows on its roots. Blooms June-Sept. Location: Gunpowder Loop Trail, Hemlock Gorge Hike, MD.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica gracilis): Grows to 4 feet, often shorter. Small hair-thin needles on the bottom side of the leaves will leave you itching if you come in contact with it. Location: all over the SNP.
Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum): An escaped cultivar capable of taking over entire fields and spoiled spots. Note a green stripe on the back of the petals. Photo by Dimitri Tundra.
Nodding or Drooping Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum nutans): An alien. Blooms in spring, usually in large clusters. Photo by Dimitri Tundra.
American Honeysuckle (Sambucus Canadensis): Unlike Japanese Honeysuckle, this is not a vine but rather a bush. This one is at the Long Pond Trailhead on Fifteen Mile Creek Rd, GRSF, MD.
White Trout Lily (Erythronium
Gall-of-the-Earth or Tall Rattlesnake - Root (Prenanthes trifoliata): Bloms late August - October. Can grow to 5 feet. Mostly on mountain tops in open woods. Location: Shenandoah Mountain Tr, Ramsey's Draft Wilderness, GWNF, VA.
Canada Violet (Viola canadensis): Perhaps the tallest violet at a maximum height of 16 inches. Location: Jeremy's Run Tr, SNP, VA.
Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda): Found in shady areas. Common.
Nightshade (Solanum nigrum): Grows in waste areas. Produces black berries. Location: Kaymoor Top, New River Gorge NR, WV.