Late purple aster looks similar to smooth aster -- they both have purple rays and clasping leaves. Distinguish them by their stems -- late purple aster has a rough, hairy stem; smooth aster has a smooth stem with a whitish coating.
- Synonyms: Aster patens
- Family: aster (Asteraceae)
- Habitat: dry open woods, dry fields
- Height: 1-3 feet
- Flower size: flowerheads 1 inch across
- Flower color: deep blue-purple rays around a yellow disk
- Flowering time: August to October
- Origin: native
Note how the base of the leaf extends around the stem, nearly encircling it. This type of leaf base is termed "clasping."