South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Symphyotrichum ciliolatum

Asteraceae : Symphyotrichum ciliolatum


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Family Name


Common Name

Lindley's aster, fringed blue aster


Symphyotrichum ciliolatum is a perennial herb growing from a rhizome or occasionally from a short caudex and reaching 30-100 cm in height. The stems are mostly smoot toward the base and have short hairs towards the upper regions. The lower leaves are alternat, ovate to lanceolate with some of them contracted near the base forming a distinct petiole. The blade is toothed, 8-15 cm long and 2-6 cm wide and somewhat hairy beneath. The inflorescence is a panicle of a few to many heads, generally < 50 but occasionally more than 100. Each head has an involucre that is 5-7 mm tall with overlapping slender bracts that are yellowish white at the base. There are 15-25 ray flowers with blue-purple ligules 7-12 mm long and about 25 reddish purple disk flowers that slightly exceed the pappus. The fruit are flattened achenes, yellowish colored with minutely plumose bristles 3-6 mm long. Lindley’s aster blooms from July through October on rocky moist soils especially in open wooded areas.

Additional Notes

Fringed blue aster is an attractive prairie perennial species. Its purplish daisy-like flowers attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees in late summer and the seeds are sometimes eaten by birds.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in August to November, when achenes are yellow to brown in color.

Germination: While some of the seeds will germinate if planted in the spring, fall sowing ensures a greater germination rate.

Vegetative Propagation: Divide rhizomes on mature plants.

Soils: Rocky well drained soils.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Water: Prefers moist areas, but can survive on dryer sites.

Asteraceae : Symphyotrichum ciliolatum