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Aster ericoides is often confused with:
Aster lateriflorus Aster lateriflorus
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Viola pedata Viola pedata
Viola canadensis Viola canadensis
Viola hastata Viola hastata

White Heath Aster Aster ericoides

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called White Heath Aster:

Previously known as:

  • Symphyotrichum ericoides
Phonetic Spelling
ASS-ter er-ik-OY-dees
Description

White Heath Aster is an herbaceous perennial in the Asteraceae or Aster family and native to North America. Typically found growing in dry open areas, this plant needs about 1 to 3 feet of space in the landscape.

The plentiful tiny, rigid, heath-like leaves make for a dense multi-stemmed habit.  From summer into the fall the plant is covered with tiny white many-petaled composite flowers giving some late-season interest to the garden.  The flowers are visited by moths, butterflies, and other pollinators, and birds and mammals enjoy eating the seeds and foliage making it an all-star wildlife plant.  

Plant in full sun in moist to dry, well-drained sandy to loamy or rocky soil.  Once established the plant is more drought-tolerant.  

White heath aster is low maintenance and makes a perfect addition to a border in a pollinator or butterfly garden.  The flowers are showy and can be enjoyed in a cut flower garden, cottage garden, or xeriscape planting.  Mass plant it along a walkway, plant in small groups along the edges of a woodland garden, or use it as an accent in a rock garden.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'First Snow'
    Tiny white star-like flowers, arching/prostrate stems
  • 'Snow Flurry'
    White flowers with yellow centers, prostrate growth
'First Snow', 'Snow Flurry'
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#fall flowers#white flowers#moths#low maintenance#cottage garden#accent plant#mass planting#herbaceous perennials#hairy leaves#cutting garden#pollinator plant#flowers late summer#hairy stems#food source herbage#walkway planting#small group plantings#dry soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#flowers early fall#beetles#pollinator garden#bee friendly#woodland garden#food source birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'First Snow'
    Tiny white star-like flowers, arching/prostrate stems
  • 'Snow Flurry'
    White flowers with yellow centers, prostrate growth
'First Snow', 'Snow Flurry'
Tags:
#showy flowers#drought tolerant#fall flowers#white flowers#moths#low maintenance#cottage garden#accent plant#mass planting#herbaceous perennials#hairy leaves#cutting garden#pollinator plant#flowers late summer#hairy stems#food source herbage#walkway planting#small group plantings#dry soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#flowers early fall#beetles#pollinator garden#bee friendly#woodland garden#food source birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aster
    Species:
    ericoides
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and Eastern United States, Canada to Mexico
    Distribution:
    Native: Canada--Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territory, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan; Mexico--Mexico Gulf and Mexico Northeast; USA--AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA RI, SD, TX UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY; Introduced: Bulgaria, France, Great Britain, Hungry, and Italy;
    Wildlife Value:
    The plant attracts butterflies, moths, skippers, bees, flies, and beetles. Deer, rabbits and some livestock may feed on the young growth of the plants. Wild Turkeys may eat the seeds and foliage.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    The seeds have tufts of white hairs. The wind disperses the seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are daisy-like and numerous. Each flower is less than 0.5 inches in diameter. The flower consists of numerous yellow to occasionally burgandy disk florets that are surrounded by thin white rays. Needle-like green bracts appear on the flowers stems.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves measure up to 3 inches long and 1/4 inch at the base of the leaf. The leaves become less than 1 inch long and 1/8 inch long as they near the flowering stem. They appear alternately and are linear in shape. They have fine hairs, and the margins are smooth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The erect stems may appear singularly or in multiples from the base of the plant. The young stems are green and hairy. The mature stems are woody and brown. The lower portion of the plant is unbranched. The upper portion appears bushy and heavily branched.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil