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This is a native species.

Herrickia glauca
Herrickia glauca

Herrickia glauca var. glauca.  Synonyms: Eucephalus glaucus, Eucephalus formosus, Aster glaucodes, Aster glaucus,  Eurybia glauca. (Waxy Aster, Gray Aster)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills. Base of talus at edge of woodlands, openings. Late summer, fall.
Above: Taylor Mesa side road, July 26, 2021
.
Left: Lower Dolores River, October 18, 2007.

William Weber calls this plant Eucephalus glaucus, John Kartesz and Flora of North America call it Herrickia glauca, and Intermountain Flora calls it Aster glaucodes.  I at first identified the plant shown in these photographs as Virgulaster ascendens.  This is a difficult plant to name -- and to key out. 

The key characteristics of Herrickia glauca are the (often) masses of plants arising from rhizomes, the blue-green (glaucus) long and narrow leaves, and the color and structure of the phyllaries (see next photo).

The plant was first named Eucephalus glaucus in 1841 by famed botanist, Thomas Nuttall, who was the first to collect this species for science. He found it near the "sources of the Platte, and in the Rocky Mts.". Torrey and Gray named it Aster glaucus in 1841; Sidney Blake named it Aster glaucodes in 1922; and Luc Brouillet named it Herrickia glauca in 2004.

Clarence Luther Herrick, 1858–1903, was a mid-west and New Mexico naturalist, geologist, and botanical collector, neurobiologist, and president of the University of New Mexico. (Click for more biographical information about Herrick.)

Herrickia glauca

Herrickia glauca

Herrickia glauca var. glauca.  Synonyms: Eucephalus glaucus, Eucephalus formosus, Aster glaucodes, Aster glaucus,  Eurybia glauca. (Waxy Aster, Gray Aster)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills. Base of talus at edge of woodlands, openings. Late summer, fall.
Lower Dolores River, October 18, 2007 and October 8, 2012; Taylor Mesa side road, July 26, 2021.

The characteristics of the phyllaries are important in identifying many Asteraceae species, certainly in identifying Herrickia glauca.  Phyllaries are in 4-5 rows and overlap, shingle style; outer phyllaries are broader than inner; phyllaries have a strong central vein which sometimes protrudes, keel-like; phyllaries are very light green to almost cream to maroon; they are often finely etched along their edges and have fine hairs; outer phyllaries are rounded and inner are more pointed.

Note that ray flower petals may be lavender or white.

             Herrickia glauca

Herrickia glauca

Herrickia glauca

Herrickia glauca var. glauca.  Synonyms: Eucephalus glaucus, Eucephalus formosus, Aster glaucodes, Aster glaucus,  Eurybia glauca. (Waxy Aster, Gray Aster)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills. Base of talus at edge of woodlands, openings. Late summer, fall.
Taylor Mesa side road, July 26, 2021 and Canyon Land, Utah, November 29, 2021.

Often lower leaves (and sometimes even upper leaves) yellow at the time of flowering ("anthesis").

Flower heads are numerous. Pappus hairs are as long as the corollas. Phyllaries become brown, as the second photograph shows. Notice in that photograph, how curled the ray petals are as the individual flowers age and die. The stem is horizontal because the plant was so weighted by the number of flower heads.

Herrickia glauca

Herrickia glauca var. glauca.  Synonyms: Eucephalus glaucus, Eucephalus formosus, Aster glaucodes, Aster glaucus,  Eurybia glauca. (Waxy Aster, Gray Aster)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills. Base of talus at edge of woodlands, openings. Late summer, fall.
Lower Dolores River, October 18, 2007.

The thick leaves may be very finely serrated but more often are smooth.

Herrickia glauca
Herrickia glauca var. glauca.  Synonyms: Eucephalus glaucus, Eucephalus formosus, Aster glaucodes, Aster glaucus,  Eurybia glauca. (Waxy Aster, Gray Aster)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)  

Foothills. Base of talus at edge of woodlands, openings. Late summer, fall.
Lower Dolores River, October 8, 2012.

Plants are rhizomatous, i.e., they can reproduce themselves from underground stem/root stock and can in this manner populate many square feet.

         Herrickia glauca

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Eurybia glauca

Range map for Herrickia glauca