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Alpine aster is a delightful and well behaved aster for the home rockery or front of a border. The stems are ascending to decumbent, measuring from 3-40 cm long. The herbage ranges from glabrous to densely covered with minute hairs below the flower heads. The leaves are mainly in a basal cluster with a few much-reduced leaves on the stems. The basal leaves are 2-10 cm long, 1-15 mm wide, and 3-5 veined. They are linear to linear-oblanceolate in shape tapering to the petioles. The margins are entire. The flower heads are solitary atop the stems. There are 10-40 lavender to violet or occasionally white ray flowers measuring from 7-15 mm long. The involucres are 5-13 mm high with the bracts layered like shingles and often with purplish margins (See upper photo.) The margins of the bracts are often lined with minute hairs. The central disk flowers are yellow.