Ionactis alpina

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Ionactis alpina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Ionactis
Species: I. alpina
Binomial name
Ionactis alpina
(Nutt.) Greene

Aster scopulorum

Ionactis alpina (formerly Aster scopulorum) is a species of aster known by the common name lava aster. It is native to western North America from California to Montana, where it grows in dry areas.


Ionactis alpina is a perennial herb growing from a caudex and fibrous root system. It produces a short, mostly erect, hairy stem to 12 centimeters in maximum height. Most of the small leaves are on the lower part of the stem. They are up to about a centimeter long, oval to lance-shaped and pointed, somewhat stiff and coated in hairs.

The inflorescence bears solitary flower heads with purple-green phyllaries, thin purple ray florets and long yellow disc florets. The fruit is a hairy achene.

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