Eaton’s Aster


Life Cycle: Perennial Sun Needs: Part-Shade/Sun Benefits: Flowers/Supports Pollinators
Plant Height: 2-4 Feet Water Needs: Moist Soil/Wet Soil Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum eatonii
Reproduces Through: Rhizomes Bloom Time: Mid-Summer/Late-Summer


Here’s a plant that seems to get very little attention – so I want to give it a small introduction to highlight it for others:

Eaton's Aster 02
Eaton’s Aster in Bloom

The Eaton’s Aster is a flower native to parts of the Western United States as well as parts of Western Canada¹.  It prefers part-shade to sun, moist to wet soil (such as stream-sides), it has pretty/small daisy-like flowers that bloom in mid-summer to late-summer.  Mine started blooming near the end of July and are currently blooming into August.  The color of the flowers can range from white to a light-purple color².  My flowers seem to be on the light purple end of the spectrum.

Aster’s appear to be somewhat overlooked in use for the home landscape or garden, but I think it deserves a place!  Asters are a great plant for pollinators, so if you are into helping out native pollinators or your local bee-keeper, this aster could be a great option.  One big bonus that asters provide are their mid- to late-season blooming periods.  As other plants are finishing their blooms, asters are just getting started.  This is a big plus for pollinators who have fewer options for foraging in late-summer/early fall.  It’s also a plus for people who want a lengthy season of flowers and color interest in their landscape.

Eaton's Aster

One potential downside – aster’s can spread by rhizomes (their roots can spread underground and new plants can emerge in different locations from the original plant).  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  If you want to allow your aster to spread throughout the garden or area, just plant it directly in the ground in a location that has the growing conditions it prefers.  Personally, I tend to prefer plants that are easier to control, so I opted to plant my asters in container gardens outside.  This keeps the aster spreading within the container, and not to the rest of my garden.


Eaton's Aster


¹  USDA NRCS Plant Profile

²  USDA NRCS Technical Notes: Plants for Pollinators in Oregon (Page 38)

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