Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Canadanthus modestus
few-flowered aster, great northern aster

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in the mountainous areas of Washington; Yukon Territory to Oregon, east to the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes region.

Habitat: Streambanks, pond and lake margins, and moist woods at middle-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial from creeping rhizomes, the stem 4-10 dm. tall, covered with stalked glands at least above.


Leaves lanceolate, thin, pointed, 5-13 cm. long and 1-4 cm. wide, entire or remotely few-toothed, sessile and clasping, slightly reduced upward, the lower early-deciduous.


Heads several in a leafy, short inflorescence; involucre 7-11 mm. high, glandular, the bracts pointed, equal, the outer herbaceous throughout, the inner purplish; disk flowers yellow, numerous; ray flowers 20-45, pistillate, purple or violet, 8-15 mm. long; pappus of numerous capillary bristles.


Achenes sparsely hairy.

Accepted Name:
Canadanthus modestus (Lindl.) G.L. Nesom
Publication: Phytologia. 77: 251. 1995.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Aster major (Hook.) Porter
Aster modestus Lindl. [HC]
Aster modestus Lindl. var. major (Hook.) Muenscher
Aster sayianus Nutt.
Aster unalaschensis Less. ex Bong. var. major Hook.
Weberaster modestus (Lindl.) Á. Löve & D. Löve
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Canadanthus modestus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Canadanthus modestus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Canadanthus modestus information.

E-Flora BC: Canadanthus modestus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Canadanthus modestus photos.

USDA Plants: Canadanthus modestus information.

57 photographs:
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