Pittonia4: 224. 1900

Common names: Mountaincrown
Etymology: Greek oreo, mountain, and stemma, crown
Basionyms: Oreastrum
Found in FNA Volume 20. Treatment on page 359. Mentioned on page 18, 362, 365.
Perennials, 2–40(–70) cm (taproots, sometimes thickly rhizomatous, sometimes with branching caudices). Stems decumbent-ascending to erect, simple (essentially scapose), usually distally finely, loosely tomentose, sometimes stipitate-glandular. Leaves mostly basal (persistent rosettes), cauline reduced; alternate; sessile; blades 3-nerved, linear to oblanceolate, margins entire (apices acute to obtuse or rounded), faces glabrous, sparsely villous, or stipitate-glandular. Heads radiate, borne singly. Involucres broadly turbinate, (5–12 ×) 10–20 mm. Phyllaries 25–40 in (2–)3–4 series, appressed (commonly purplish), 1(–3)-nerved (thin, not resinous; often low-keeled), linear to linear-elliptic or oblanceolate, subequal, usually herbaceous, sometimes proximal margins indurate, faces finely and loosely tomentose. Receptacles flat, shallowly pitted, epaleate. Ray florets 10–40, pistillate, fertile; corollas white, often drying blue to purple. Disc florets 30–55, bisexual, fertile; corollas yellowish at maturity, tubes shorter than tubular throats (barely constricted), lobes 5, erect, lanceolate to deltate; style-branch appendages linear-lanceolate. Cypselae (brownish) narrowly cylindric, ribs 5–10 (raised), faces glabrous or sparsely strigillose; pappi persistent, of 25–40, tawny-white, barbellate, apically attenuate bristles in 1 series, sometimes plus shorter bristles or setae in a second, outer series. x = 9.


w United States.


Species 3 (3 in the flora).

Oreostemma is distinguished by its basal rosettes of narrow, 3-nerved leaves, single heads on scapose stems, turbinate involucres with (2–)3–4 subequal series of herbaceous phyllaries, white rays, long style-branch appendages, and cylindric cypselae. The species mostly have been previously treated within Aster.


1 Plants 2–7 cm; stems, phyllaries, and often leaves sparsely villous to glabrate, densely short-stipitate-glandular; leaf blades linear Oreostemma peirsonii
1 Plants 4–70 cm; stems, leaves, and phyllaries glabrous or villous, eglandular; leaf blades oblanceolate > 2
2 Stems, leaves, and phyllaries villous to glabrate, at least some hairs always perceptible on distal stems and proximal portions of phyllaries; phyllaries herbaceous or slightly tawny-indurate proximally, outer 0.8–1.2 mm wide proximally, 1-nerved Oreostemma alpigenum
2 Stems, leaves, and phyllaries glabrous; phyllaries strongly indurate-stramineous proximally, outer 1.5–2 mm wide proximally, 3-nerved (nerves separating phyllary into 4 longitudinal bands) Oreostemma elatum
Facts about "Oreostemma"
AuthorGuy L. Nesom +
BasionymOreastrum +
Common nameMountaincrown +
EtymologyGreek oreo, mountain, and stemma, crown +
IllustratorBarbara Alongi +
Referencecronquist1948a + and nesom1993f +
Taxon nameOreostemma +
Taxon parentAsteraceae tribe Astereae +
Taxon rankgenus +
VolumeVolume 20 +