Plant DetailShow Menu

Aster lateriflorus is often confused with:
Aster ericoides White ray flowers and yellow disk flowers.
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Solidago chilensis Solidago odora in the fall in Moore County
Dianthus Flowers
Allium hollandicum Form

Aster lateriflorus

Previously known as:

  • Symphyotrichum lateriflorum
Phonetic Spelling
ASS-ter lat-er-ih-FLOOR-us
Description

The Calico Aster is a bushy herbaceous perennial that is typically found in moist meadows, woodlands, and near rivers, and swamps.  It grows about 2-3 feet tall and has small showy white flowers that bloom in late summer and fall. It is a member of the Asteraceae or Aster Family.

The plant is native to central and eastern North America from Canada to Mexico. 

The Calico Aster prefers light shade and moist conditions in rich loamy or clay soils. They are tolerant of occasional flooding. Dry weather will cause the leaves to wither and cause plant stress.

The Calico Aster is a low-maintenance perennial. The flowers attract butterflies and would be a perfect addition to a partially shaded cottage or pollinator garden.

Insects, Disease, and Other Plant Problems:

There are no serious insect or disease problems. Observe for verticillium wilt, powdery mildew, and gray molds. Due to its growth habit, the plant may require some support. 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lady in Black'
    Small white petal flowers, rosy-pink center disk, purple stems and leaves
'Lady in Black'
Tags:
#showy flowers#perennials#cottage garden#border planting#pollinator plant#butterfly friendly#drought intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lady in Black'
    Small white petal flowers, rosy-pink center disk, purple stems and leaves
'Lady in Black'
Tags:
#showy flowers#perennials#cottage garden#border planting#pollinator plant#butterfly friendly#drought intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aster
    Species:
    lateriflorus
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada to Mexico
    Distribution:
    Native: USA--AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MS, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV, and WI; Canada--Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec; Mexico Gulf; Introduced: France, Italy, and Switzerland
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Elk, deer, and rabbits browse and eat the leaves. Birds feed on the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    The achenes have small tufts of white to pinkish hair. The wind disperses the seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowerhead is about 1/3 inch to 1/2 in diameter. Each flowerhead has multiple small disk florets that pale yellow and transition to brown or reddish-purple. Eight to twelve white petal rays encircle the florets. The ray color may rarely be pink or violet. Three to four layers of bracts surround the base of the flower. They bloom from late summer to fall.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are medium green on the upper surfaces and light green on the undersides. The upper surface is smooth to slightly rough. The lower surface has short hairs along the midvein. The leaves are alternate and measure up to 4.5 inches long and 0.5 inches wide. Their shape is lanceolate or elliptic, but they become more linear near the flowerheads. The leaf margins are usually entire, but some of the leaf tips may have shallow teeth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems may be single or multiples. They have soft white hair, and they may be erect or arching. The young stems are green. As the plant matures, the stems become reddish-brown.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals