Symphyotrichum sect. Conyzopsis (syn: Brachyactis Ledeb.) includes three x=7 species of asters native to North America (Houle and Brouillet 1985). The section has been treated as a separate genus (e.g., Jones 1989). However, it is either derived from or are closely related to the Foliacei asters but differ in the lower chromosome base number and in having numerous small rays in multiple series or no rays. The pappus consists of numerous fine pappus bristles that are distinctive within Symphyotrichum (Semple & Hood in press). The plants inhabit moist saline soils of summer-receding shores of lakes or ponds, vernally alkaline bottoms, marshes, intertidal salt marshes, moist dune slacks. Symphyotrichum ciliatum is also native to the steppes of Eurasia, probably migrating into the area from North America during Quaternary glaciation (Brouillet et al., in press).