Panicled Aster, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum
(formerly Aster simplex  what happened?)
Asteraceae or Sunflower Family

Plants Plant about 4 ft tall.  Leaves narrow, lance-shaped, sometimes toothed.  Flower heads about 3/4 to 1 inch wide,  with yellow disc flowers and many white ray-flowers, sometimes tinged violet.  Blooms in the autumn.

Native aster of damp places.  Occasional in Wildwood in wet soil.

There are many asters in the Park and they are difficult to tell apart.  Purple-stemmed aster (S. puniceum) also prefers wet places, but has reddish stems and clasping leaves, and the flowers are rarely white.  Heath aster (S. pilosum) has very narrow leaves, and many small leaves in the inflorescence.  Calico aster (S. lateriflorum) has wider, shorter leaves and smaller flowers. Other asters in the Park have wider leaves, and/or prefer drier areas.