Heath Aster, Symphyotrichum ericoides

Heath Aster

Symphyotrichum ericoides

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


Description

Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides) occurs in open rocky woods, prairies and along roads and railroads. A bushy, somewhat compact plant with many-branched stems which typically grows 1 to 3 feet tall. Small, daisy-like flowers (1/2 inch across) are borne in profusion in spreading, often one-sided, dense sprays (racemes) in late summer to early fall. Ray flowers are usually white, but infrequently blue or pink and center disks are yellow. Distinctive are narrow, rigid, linear and heath-like (hence the common name). There are numerous needle-like green bracts on the flowering stems, giving this plant a heath-like appearance. The little seeds have tufts of white hairs, and are distributed by the wind. The root system is rhizomatous.

Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, gravel prairies, dolomite prairies, hill prairies, savannas, openings in dry rocky forests, limestone glades, areas along roadsides and railroads, and pastures. It can be found in both high quality habitats and disturbed areas.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Does well in sandy or clay soils. Generally tolerates poor soils and drought.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Attractive to butterflies.
  Mildew resistant.
  May need staking.
  Good cut flower.
  This plant withstands drought.
  It often spreads vegetatively to form colonies.
Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
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 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
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 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries