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Symphyotrichum cordifolium

Common Name(s):
Blue wood aster, Heart-leaved aster
Categories:
Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers
Comment:

A low maintenance perennial native to eastern and central North America the blue wood aster is commonly found naturalized in woodlands, meadows, or stream banks.  It can be weedy as it self-seeds very easily.

Pinching back the stems will lead to a bushier plant and hopfully avoid the need for staking.  The foliage tends to decline by late summer and it can be cut to the ground to avoid any self-seeding and also to help with appearance.

Regions: Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Seasons of Interest:

     Bloom: Summer- late Fall; Fruit/Seed/Nut: Winter

Wildlife Value: Moderately deer resistant. Host plant for the Pearl Crescent butterfly. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Songbirds and small mammals eat the seeds.  Members of the genus Symphyotrichum support the following specialized bees: Andrena (Callandrena s.l.) asterisAndrena (Callandrena s.l.) asteroidesAndrena (Cnemidandrena) hirticinctaAndrena (Cnemidandrena) nubeculaAndrena (Callandrena s.l.) placataAndrena (Callandrena s.l.) simplex, and Colletes simulans.


Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to powdery mildew, leaf spots, or rust. Aster wilt can also be an occasional problem, if plants are grown in poorly-drained clay soils.  Good air circulation helps reduce incidence of foliar diseases. Taller plants may require staking or other support. 

This plant may be confused with: Aster cordifolius.

Season:
Fall
Light:
Partial shade
Height:
2-3 ft.
Space:
1.5-2 ft.
Flower Color:
Pale blue to rich blue with yellow centers
Foliage:
A stout leafy plant with smooth, upright arching stems with sharply toothed leaves. Upper leaves are ovate and lower leaves are heart-shaped.
Flower:
Pale blue to violet flowers bloom in large, loose panicles.
Zones:
3-8
Habit:
Upright, arching
Site:
Average, dry to moist, but prefers moist, well-drained soils. It does not tolerate poorly drained soils. Can be found in part shade locations as it tolerates shade well.
Propagation:
Self seeds easily
Exposure:
Partial shade
Fruit:
Achene
Soil:
Moist to Dry
Origin:
Eastern and central eastern North America
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Tags:
showy flowers, weedy, low maintenance, fall color, bees, shade, specialized bees, native bees, fall interest, cottage garden, butterfly garden, butterflies, wildlife

NCCES plant id: 3172

Symphyotrichum cordifolium In a woodland setting
R. A. Nonenmacher, CC-BY-SA-3.0