- Grows on seasonally-flooded banks of two rivers.
Anticosti aster has blue showy blossoms, similar to those of many common asters. It is most easily distinguished by its long, narrow leaves that droop in the form of an arch. As in all asters, what we call petals are really altered flowers called ray flowers. A cluster of a second kind of tiny flower, called tube flowers, forms the centre of the aster blossoms in what often resembles a small button. Thus, what we may think of as a single flower is really composed of many small flowers, all grouped into a single unit. Anticosti aster is a perennial plant, which means that it lives for more than two years. The flowers appear anytime from mid-July to the first frosts in late summer or fall.
Anticosti aster colonizes seasonally-flooded gravel banks of larger fast-flowing rivers, in regions with rich soils. It may form dense clumps and is often difficult to distinguish from other asters. In particular, it resembles and has been known to cross with the more common New York aster. Good shoreline stewardship practices, such as leaving natural vegetation in place, are simple and effective steps toward protection of this species.
The Anticosti aster is considered to be endemic to our region. An endemic is a species that is native to or confined to a given area. In New Brunswick, it is found along the Restigouche River and the upper portion of the Saint John River. Outside New Brunswick, it is restricted to southeastern Québec and Maine.