Symphyotrichum turbinellum

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: prairie aster
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: East-central United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Lavender to violet rays with yellow centers
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in acidic, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils including rocky loams.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Symphyotrichum turbinellum, commonly called prairie aster, is native to dry prairies, open woods, upland glades and ridges from Illinois to Kansas south to Oklahoma and Louisiana. It typically grows as a shrubby upright perennial to 4' tall and to 2 1/2' wide. Narrow ovate to lanceolate, medium green leaves (to 4” long) have smooth margins. Basal leaves have petioles but stem leaves are sessile. Daisy-like flowers (to 1” diameter) with deep lavender to violet rays and yellow centers bloom abundantly in open panicles from late August to October. Flowers bloom at the tips of branchlets which are covered with very small bract-like leaves. The base of each flowerhead is shaped like a turban, hence the sometimes used common name of turbinate aster for this plant. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Aster turbinellus.

Genus name comes from the Greek symph meaning coming together and trich meaning hair in possible reference to the flower anthers.

Specific epithet refers to the turban-shaped base of each flowerhead.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Good resistance to powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Native plant gardens, meadows, prairies, woodland margins or naturalized areas. Mixed borders.