Symphyotrichum sericeum (Vent.) G.L.Nesom
Family: Asteraceae
silky aster, western silvery aster
Symphyotrichum sericeum image
Merel R. Black  
Etymology: Aster: from the Greek aster, "a star," describing the radiate heads of the flowers
Plants: erect, perennial, 8"-24" tall forb; clustered, brittle, wiry stems
Leaves: pale greenish, very silky, entire, lance-like to oblong
Flowers: head 3/4"-1" wide with 15-25 violet to purple rays; inflorescence of several to many heads in widely-branched, open clusters near the ends of the branches; blooms Aug.-Oct.
Habitat: sun; dry; prairies, cliffs
Conservation Status: Native