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The Aster family- Asteraceae: An introduction to navigating this large and important plant family
September 24 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm$15.00
The Asteraceae, or composites, contain more species of flowering plants than all others (but the orchids). There are more composites in our regional flora, and indeed any temperate flora, than any other plant family. They inhabit just about every habitat and are conspicuous throughout the growing season, especially in late summer and fall. Easy to recognize as a family when flowering, the large number of species and its sometimes inconspicuous but important identifying field characters, can overwhelm us. Knowing what to look for and how the family is organized will help! We will review the features and specialized terms that allow us to recognize a composite to the family. Then we will dive into Asteraceae organization (systematics)- learning to recognize groups of genera called tribes- that can help us work our way through and identify most composites, at least to genus. We will look at herbarium specimens and collected live plants, as well as explore late-blooming composites within Floracliff.
Hike distance and difficulty: 3 miles; rated moderate to difficult, due to steep and uneven terrain; there may also be some slick spots near the creek
Optional: hiking poles, snack/lunch, camera
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