|The two books used, and a selection of Aster species.|
One of the most obvious Aster species present at the point is the New England Aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae. This is mainly due to its intense purple flowers which allow it to be easily identified in the field as no other common aster would look similar.
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England Aster)
As mentioned this species is very obvious and easy to identify due to its large purple flowers. It is often one of the few plants any of the visitors can identify, which may be in part due to its common use as a garden plant. Its leaves, when crushed have a distinct spicy smell which can also be used as an identification feature.
At the point it is often found in the more open areas in full sun, helping to make it even more obvious than many other species.
|Symphyotrichum novae-angliae flowers|
|Leaves of Symphyotrichum urophyllum|
A common aster of woodland edges, I found the specimen photographed at the edge of the lake, under a thicket of prickly ash but it can be seen all over the point, often within the woodland
The leaves of this species are relatively distinctive with alternatively, shallowly toothed leaves and winged petioles.
It's flowers are on upright panicle shaped heads with stiff stems. Its flowers are usually white although they can be pale pink or bluish. the flowers change from having yellow centres to purple centres like most Asters.
|Flower head of Symphyotrichum urophyllum|
A very common species which is often found in moist open or lightly forested areas. At the point it could commonly be found close to the swamp or the lake in areas which were more likely to inundated with a little more water.
By the time it is in flower many of its lower leaves have dried and fallen off whilst smaller dead leaves higher up the stem tend to be rather curly. Its flowers are often spread out along the branches in a rather open manner.
|Flower of Symphyotrichum lanceolatum|
Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (Calico Aster)
|Symphyotrichum lateriflorum growth form|
A common, and very easily identifiable aster due to its unusual form. Also known as the starved aster due to this form once you know what it looks like its an easy one to pick out. With its long horizontal spreading branches with its sparse flowers its not the nicest aster to look at.
This species was most often found within the woodland and along the paths and on the edges of the fields where it gets the dappled light it prefers.
|Flower head of Symphyotrichum lateriflorum|
|Symphyotrichum cordifolium leave|
Another fairly common species, which was again often found within the woodland at the edge or paths or the woodland edge. It's pale blue flowers are arranged in a dense rounded panicle.
Its jaggedly toothed, heart shaped leaves also help aid identification and are present on the plant throughout the flowering season.
|Flowerhead of Symphyotrichum cordifolium|
Symphyotrichum ericoides (Heath Aster)
Probably the commonest aster on the point, this species can be found across the large areas of abandoned fields and drier areas. It gets its name from its small crowded leaves which are similar to Heather Calluna leaves.
The white flowers are small and often overlap each other on the flowering stems which gives this species the alternative name of Many Flowered Aster. Unlike other species its mainly reproduces by runners and roots.
|A stand of Symphyotrichum ericoides flowers|