Erect, highly variable in height. Stems often reddish, hairy to hairless. Basal leaves 2–5 in. long, egg-shaped, with short petioles; stem leaves sessile. Flower heads single or few in open cyme with leaf-like, oblong to egg-shaped bracts. Ray flowers violet, purple, blue, or rose; disk yellow. Grows in open woods, subalpine meadows, along streams, at high elevations. Var. apricus is less than 9 in. tall, with decumbent or ascending stems; grows in alpine to subalpine. Var. parryi, more than 9 in. tall, has upper leaves smooth, moderately clasping; bracts under flowers small; grows along streams and wet places in mountains. Aster cusickii, of Wallowa Mountains, is more than 9 in. tall, with middle and upper leaves hairy, strongly clasping; not in alpine zone.
- Rarity: Common
- Flowering Time: Late Summer
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Height: 6--24 inches
- Habitat: Meadow, West-Side Forest, East-Side Forest, Subalpine, Alpine
- Found In: Olympic Np, Mt. Rainier Np, N Cascades Np, Crater Lake Np, Wallowas, Steens, West Gorge
- Native: Yes