Species At Risk

White Wood Aster

(Eurybia divaricata)

Threatened

White Wood Aster
White Wood Aster occurrences map

Description

White Wood Aster is a perennial plant that usually grows 30 to 90 centimetres tall. Its leaves are deeply and irregularly serrated: the lower leaves are heart-shaped while the upper leaves are elongated. It flowers in the fall, typically in early to mid September. The florets are yellow and purple while the rays are white.

White Wood Aster grows in colonies, spreading primarily through underground root-like stems.

Action we are taking:

Range

White Wood Aster ranges from New England south to Georgia and Alabama. In Canada, it is restricted to a relatively small number of sites in the Niagara region and a few woodlots in southwestern Quebec.

Habitat

White Wood Aster grows in open, dry deciduous forests that are dominated by Sugar Maple and American Beech trees. It is often found mixed in with other asters. The plant does best in well-drained soils and it may prefer a low level of disturbance, as it has been found to grow along trails. It does well in partial to full shade.

Threats

Habitat loss and degradation are the greatest threats to White Wood Aster in both Ontario and Quebec. Recreational use at some sites, including potential trampling by hikers is also a factor.

The spread of the invasive species Garlic Mustard, grazing by high populations of deer in southern Ontario, and consumption by the weevil are other potential threats to White Wood Aster.

Protection

The White Wood Aster is protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and the federal Species at Risk Act.

What You Can Do to Help the White Wood Aster

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the White Wood Aster. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species at risk recovery. If you find White Wood Aster on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Consult the Ministry of Natural Resources when working around forests for information on provincial regulations and best management practices to protect these important habitats. Call toll free 1-800-667-1940 or visit the Ministry website at http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/ContactUs/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_179002.html.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • The Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program is available to farmers registered under the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan to encourage greater protection and conservation of habitat for species at risk. Find more information at www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/environment/efp/efp.htm.

Did you know?

White Wood Aster seeds are dispersed by the wind but are generally not carried for long distances. This may account for its low colonization rate and restricted range.

Did you know?

White Wood Aster is also known as the Heart-leaved Aster because of the shape of its lower leaves.

Did you know?

The flowers of White Wood Aster are attractive to butterflies and it is the host plant for Pearly Crescents, a common North American butterfly.


The Endangered Species Act


Contact your local ministry office


Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.