Crooked-Stem Aster, Symphyotrichum prenanthoides

Crooked-Stem Aster

Symphyotrichum prenanthoides

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Moist
Color: Blue, Purple
Fragrance: No
Height: 1 - 3 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Description

Crooked-Stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides) has narrow leaves of clasp zig-zagging stems adorned by flowers featuring 20-30 pale violet petals surrounding yellow centers. One of the shorter Asters, it prefers wood edges, stream banks and damp thickets. It blooms in late summer and early autumn.This species is beneficial to pollinators as it attracts large numbers of native bees. Butterflies also enjoy the yellow centers and nectar.

Branching clusters of stalked flowers at the top of the stem and arising from upper leaf axils. Flowers are about 1 inch across with 20 to 35 petals (ray flowers) and a yellow center disk that turns reddish with age. Ray color is very pale lavender (nearly white) to light blue-violet. Flower stalks are up to ¾ inch long, hairy in lines, with several leaf-like bracts below the flower.

Leaves are mostly lance/spear/spatula-shaped, the blade coarsely toothed, sharply pointed at the tip, abruptly narrowed at the base to a toothless, broadly winged stalk that is slightly enlarged at the base into a pair of lobes (auricles) that clasp the stem. Leaves are hairless except for a few hairs on the mid-vein on the underside. Basal leaves have slender, narrowly winged stalks and wither away by flowering time along with the lowest stem leaves. Most stem leaves persist through fruiting.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Plants may form colonies from creeping rhizomes.
  Fruit is a dry seed with a tuft of light brown hair to carry it off in the wind.
Further Information

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