Arrow-Leaved Aster, Symphyotrichum sagittifolium

Arrow-Leaved Aster

Symphyotrichum sagittifolium

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Rocky
Soil Moisture: Moist, Medium
Color: Blue
Fragrance: No
Height: 3 feet
Spacing: 2 feet


Description

Arrow-Leaved Aster (Symphyotrichum sagittifolium) or Blue Wood Aster is a somewhat weedy, herbaceous perennial that is native to rich, dry to moist woodlands, forest margins, fields, dry meadows, bluff bases and stream banks, It is a stout, leafy plant that typically grows on smooth, branched, upright-arching stems to 2-5 feet tall. Stems are topped by dense, small-leaved panicles of daisy-like asters (each flower to ¾ inch diameter) which bloom late summer to fall (late August to October). Flowers feature pale blue to rich blue rays and yellow centers. Leaves are sharply-toothed, with the lower ones being heart-shaped (to 5” long), hence the specific epithet and common name references to heart-shaped leaves. The upper leaves are smaller and more ovate. The blooming period occurs from late summer into the autumn and lasts about 1-3 months. Afterwards, the florets are replaced by achenes with small tufts of hair; they are distributed by the wind.

Easily grown in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Usually found in part shade locations. Prefers moist, rich soils, but avoid consistent moisture. Good air circulation helps reduce incidence of foliar diseases. Pinching back stems several times before mid-July will help control plant height, promote bushiness and perhaps obviate the need for staking. Easily grown from seed and often abundantly self-seeds in the garden if not deadheaded. Plants may be cut to the ground after flowering to prevent unwanted self-seeding and/or to remove unsightly foliage.

Habitats include upland woodlands, rocky woodlands, wooded slopes, thinly wooded bluffs, woodland edges, savannas, rocky glades, grassy thickets, small meadows in wooded areas, and edges of yards. This aster tolerates disturbance to some extent.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Taller plants may require staking or other support.
  Foliage tends to decline by late summer.
  Flowers are attractive to butterflies.
  Sometimes powdery mildew attacks the leaves during the late summer or fall when moisture is abundant.
  Tolerates shady conditions well.
Further Information

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