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Key to Symphyotrichum, Key E: perennial asters with clasping or sheathing leaves
[of subgenus Symphyotrichum, sections Symphyotrichum and Concinni]

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1 Mid-stem leaves narrowed above the clasping base to an elongate petiolar portion (1/2-1/8 of the blade length) which flares abruptly into an ovate to lanceolate upper portion 10-55 mm wide; stem slightly to strongly zigzag in the upper portion; [series Punicei]
1 Mid-stem leaves linear to lanceolate; stem usually straight (lacking bends alternating at the nodes).
  2 Phyllaries appressed, apices acute to acuminate (also keyed in Key F); plants 1.5-4 (-6) dm; [ultramafic outcrop barrens, Clay co., NC]; [series Punicei]
  2 Phyllaries spreading; plants (1.7-) 6-25+ dm; [other habitats, collectively widespread].
    3 Phyllaries mostly obtuse to acute, sometimes acuminate, green zones foliaceous; mid and upper stem leaves mostly lanceolate or oblanceolate to linear, faces glabrous, bases slightly auriculate-clasping to short-petiolate and attenuate; stems sparsely hairy in lines above, otherwise glabrous; [series Symphyotrichum].
      4 Lower stem leaves distinctly petiolate, blades often with rounded bases; stems often flexuous; [moist forests; w. NC and e. TN south to n. GA].
      4 Lower stem leaves attenuate, sessile to winged-petiolate; leaves thick-textured, often slightly fleshy; stems erect; [marshes, pine savannahs; Atlantic Coastal Plain of GA northwards, disjunct in w. NC]
        5 Leaves linear, > 10× as long as wide; leaf bases only subclasping
    3 Phyllaries mostly long-acuminate to caudate; mid and upper stem leaves mostly ovate, obovate, lanceolate, or oblanceolate, scabrous adaxially (except S. firmum), bases strongly auriculate-clasping (except S. elliottii); stems densely hispid to sparsely hairy in lines; [series Punicei].
          6 Stem leaves cuneate or rounded at base; leaves thick, firm
          6 Stem leaves strongly auriculate-clasping; leaves membranaceous.
             7 Stems glabrous, occasionally hispidulous in lines; abaxial cauline leaf midvein glabrous; capitulescence dense, leafy; heads with white to pale lavender ray florets; shoots arising singly from elongate rhizomes
             7 Stems densely pubescent, usually purplish; abaxial cauline leaf midvein moderately to densely pubescent; capitulescence widely spreading and heads with lavender to purple ray florets; shoots often found in clumps of 2-6 arising from a persistent stout caudex
               8 Upper and lower leaf surfaces nearly the same color; upper stem leaves smaller in size than the midstem leaves
               8 Upper and lower leaf surfaces distinctly different in color (the lower pale green, the upper dark green); upper stem leaves (on branches leading to heads) equal or nearly so in size to mid-stem leaves
                 9 Plants to 6 dm tall; {other characters}; [nw. NC]
                 9 Plants 10-30 dm tall; {other characters}; [widespread]
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