Sky Blue Aster, Symphyotrichum oolentangiense

Sky Blue Aster

Symphyotrichum oolentangiense

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Dry
Color: Blue
Fragrance: No
Height: 2 - 3 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Description

Sky Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense) is native to prairies, fields, wood margins and rocky slopes . It is a rhizomatous perennial that typically grows 2-3 feet tall. Daisy-like flowers (.5 to 1 inch across) with blue to blue-violet rays and yellow center disks bloom in many-flowered panicles in September and October. Ovate-lanceolate to oblong lower basal leaves (to 5 inches long) are rough-hairy, often serrate and cordate at the base. Lanceolate upper leaves are much smaller, narrower and sessile. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

The blooming period occurs from late summer into autumn, lasting about 1 month for a colony of plants. Afterwards, the florets are replaced by small bullet-shaped achenes (about 2 mm. in length) that have small tufts of hair at their apices. These achenes are distributed by the wind. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Older plants may develop a short caudex.

Habitats include mesic to dry prairies, sand prairies, hill prairies, rocky upland woodlands, upland savannas, upland sandy savannas, woodland borders, sandy meadows, limestone glades, and roadside embankments. This plant is usually found in higher quality natural areas where the original ground flora is still intact. Occasional wildfires or other disturbance that reduce competition from woody vegetation is beneficial in maintaining populations of this plant.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils. Also tolerates drought.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Spreads by rhizomes and self-seeding.
  May be grown from seed.
Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries