Eurybia macrophylla

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Largeleaf aster
Eurybia macrophylla.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Eurybia
Species: E. macrophylla
Binomial name
Eurybia macrophylla
(L.) Cass.

Eurybia macrophylla, commonly known as the bigleaf aster,[3] large-leaved aster,[4] largeleaf aster or bigleaf wood aster, is an herbaceous perennial in the composite family that was formerly treated in the genus Aster. It is native to eastern North America, with a range extending from eastern and central Canada (from Nova Scotia to Manitoba) through the northeastern deciduous and mixed forests of New England and the Great Lakes region and south along the Appalachians as far as the northeastern corner of Georgia, and west as far as Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas.[5] The flowers appear in the late summer to early fall and show ray florets that are usually either a deep lavender or violet, but sometimes white, and disc florets that are cream-coloured or light yellow, becoming purple as they mature. It is one of the parent species of the hybrid Eurybia × herveyi.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Eurybia macrophylla is native to the eastern United States and Canada. In the latter country it is common in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. In the United States it can be found in all states east of and including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee.[5] It may also be present in Mississippi. The plant has also been introduced outside of its native range into northern Europe. It is most often encountered at 0 to 1300 metre (0-4300 feet) elevations in moist to dry soils in association with hemlock-northern hardwood, beech-maple or pine forests, Appalachian spruce-fir forests, as well as with aspen, pine or open spruce woodlands. It can also be found in thickets, clearings or along shaded roadsides.[6]


The large, thick young leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens.[7] The Algonquin people of Quebec use the leaves in this way.[8]

The Iroquois use the root as a blood medicine, and they also use a compound decoction of the roots to loosen the bowels to treat venereal disease.[9] The Ojibwa bathe their heads with an infusion of this plant to treat headaches.[10] They also smoke it as hunting charm to attract deer.[11] They also consume the young leaves of the plant as both food and medicine,[12] and they also use the roots to make soup.[12]


  1. ^ NatureServe (2006), "Eurybia macrophylla", NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life, Version 6.1., Arlington, Virginia, retrieved 2007-06-13 
  2. ^ The Plant List, Eurybia macrophylla (L.) Cass.
  3. ^ "Eurybia macrophylla". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  5. ^ a b Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  6. ^ a b Brouillet, Luc (2006), "Eurybia macrophylla", in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+, Flora of North America, 20, New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 375 
  7. ^ Thieret, John W. (2001), National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, New York: Random House, p. 369, ISBN 0-375-40232-2 
  8. ^ Black, Meredith Jean 1980 Algonquin Ethnobotany: An Interpretation of Aboriginal Adaptation in South Western Quebec. Ottawa. National Museums of Canada. Mercury Series Number 65 (p. 108)
  9. ^ Herrick, James William 1977 Iroquois Medical Botany. State University of New York, Albany, PhD Thesis (p. 462)
  10. ^ Smith, Huron H. 1932 Ethnobotany of the Ojibwe Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of Milwaukee 4:327-525 (p. 363)
  11. ^ Smith, p.429
  12. ^ a b Smith, p.398

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