Symphyotrichum ericoides

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Heath Aster
Symphyotrichum ericoides CH-01.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Compositae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Symphyotrichum
Subgenus: Symphyotrichum
Section: Symphyotrichum
Species: S. ericoides
Binomial name
Symphyotrichum ericoides
(L.) G.L.Nesom

Symphyotrichum ericoides, syn. Aster ericoides (common name white aster or heath aster), is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to much of North America, as well as northern Mexico. It has also been introduced to many areas beyond its native range.


It is an herbaceous perennial, characterised by its white or rarely pinkish, daisy-like composite flowerheads with yellow centres that appear in late summer through fall (autumn).[2][3]


Confusingly, plants sold in the horticultural trade labeled as Aster ericoides, the old name of the plant, are almost invariably cultivars or hybrids involving the European garden plants Symphyotrichum dumosum, S. lateriflorum, S. pilosum or S. racemosum, a mistake that has apparently occurred continuously since the 19th century.

Asters are tough plants, though they can be subject to fungal infections, especially if not planted in open, sunny conditions where the soil is not too damp. They are valued in the garden for providing late season flower colour in shades of blue, pink and white. The following cultivars of A. ericoides have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Blue Star'[4]
  • 'Brimstone'[5]
  • f. prostratus 'Snow flurry'[6]      
  • 'Golden Spray'[7]
  • 'Pink Cloud'[8]
  • 'Ringdove'[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Symphyotrichum ericoides". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  2. ^ Brouillet, Luc; Semple, John C.; Allen, Geraldine A.; Chambers, Kenton L.; Sundberg, Scott D. (2006). "Symphyotrichum ericoides". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America 20. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 494. 
  3. ^ Peterson, Roger Tory; Margaret McKenny (1969). Peterson Field Guides Wildflowers Northeastern / North-cntral North America. New York: Houghton Miffilin Company. pp. 96–Heath Aster 358–Willow 358–Prairie. ISBN 0-395-91172-9. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster ericoides 'Blue Star'". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster ericoides 'Brimstone'". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster ericoides f. prostratus 'Snow Flurry'". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster ericoides 'Golden Spray'". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster ericoides 'Pink Cloud'". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aster ericoides 'Ringdove'". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 

External links[edit]