|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:
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.
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.