Symphyotrichum laeve var. purpuratum
Phytologia 77: 284. 1995.
Leaves mostly basal and proximal at flowering (cauline usually reduced), mostly linear, slightly auriculate-clasping, often more than 5 times as long as wide. Phyllaries strongly unequal, apical green zones diamond-shaped. 2n = 48.
Phenology: Flowering Sep–Oct.
Habitat: Dry, open places, prairies, open deciduous woods, mostly on coastal plains
Elevation: 20–100+ m
Ala., Ark., Ga., La., Miss., Tex.
The range of var. purpuratum is more southern and western (Gulf Coastal Plains) than that of var. concinnum (mainly eastern Appalachians and Piedmont). Controversy surrounds the question of proper rank for this taxon. Semple suggests the rank of species. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish this variety from var. concinnum, from which it differs by its mostly basal leaves, basal and proximal leaves persistent and more linear, and often more compact arrays (A. Cronquist 1980). When subspecies are recognized under Symphyotrichum laeve, it is uncertain whether var. attenuatum would constitute a separate subspecies or be part of subsp. concinnum.
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