flat-topped aster

(Doellingeria umbellata var. pubens)

Conservation Status


No image available

  IUCN Red List

not listed


N3N5 - Vulnerable to Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland


FACW - Facultative wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland


Flat-topped aster (var.pubens) is an erect, 20 to 47 tall, perennial forb that rises on a single stem, rarely a few stems, from a creeping rhizome. It sometimes forms colonies.

The stems are erect or ascending and have fine longitudinal lines. They are usually unbranched below the inflorescence. They are rough to the touch due to a sparse to dense covering of minute, curved hairs.

Lower leaves are absent at flowering time. Middle and upper leaves are crowded, alternate, stalkless, broadly to narrowly elliptic or lance-elliptic, 2 to 4 long, and ½ to 1 wide. They are not stiff. They taper gradually to the stem at the base and taper to a sharp point at the tip. The upper surface hairless or sparsely to moderately covered with short, curly hairs. The lower surface is gray or white due to a moderate to dense covering of fine, white, short hairs. The margins are untoothed, finely hairy, and rolled inward toward the upper side.

The inflorescence is a flat-topped cluster (corymb) of usually 20 to 100 flower heads at the end of the stem.

The individual flower heads are to 1 wide with usually 5 to 10 white ray florets and 11 to 26 pale yellow disk florets.

The fruit is an achene.




20 to 47


Flower Color


White ray florets, pale yellow disk florets


Similar Species


Flat-topped aster (Doellingeria umbellata var. umbellata) lower leaf surface is green and hairless or sparsely covered with long, soft, shaggy hairs. The flower heads are slightly larger and have up to 14 ray florets and 40 disk florets.


Moist. Meadows, clearings, thickets, wood margins.




July to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



3, 4, 7, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Astereae (asters and allies)  
  Subtribe Doellingeriinae (white-top asters)  
  Genus Doellingeria (whitetops)  
  Species Doellingeria umbellata (flat-topped aster)  

Subordinate Taxa






Aster pubentior

Aster umbellatus var. pubens

Doellingeria umbellata ssp. pubens


Common Names


flat-topped aster

parasol whitetop













A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



A flat-topped or convex inflorescence in which the stalked flowers grow upward from various points on the main stem to approximately the same horizontal plane. The outer flowers open first.

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