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ASTER divaricatus

Image of Aster divaricatus

James Burghardt

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ASTER divaricatus

Plant Common Name

White Wood Aster

General Description

This colonizing perennial is a common resident of dry, open wooded areas across much of eastern North America. Delicate in appearance but easy to grow, it is valued for its clouds of small, white daisies produced at summer’s end.

The wiry, branched, upright to lax stems of white wood aster arise from wandering underground rhizomes. The stems are often purple-tinged. Toothed, oval to lance-shaped leaves alternate along the stems, becoming narrower and shorter-stalked toward the stem tips. Loose, airy clusters of small, white daisies with thin ray petals and soft yellow to brown centers appear in late summer to early autumn. These are highly attractive to butterflies and other small, pollinating insects. The small seeds that follow may self-sow readily to form small colonies.

This perennial grows easily in part sun to part shade and woodsy, well-drained, moderately fertile soil. If seedlings are not desired, faded flowering stems should be cut back promptly after blooming. Divide clumps in spring every few years, if necessary. Use white wood aster to bring softness and light to shady beds and borders, or allow it to naturalize in woodland gardens. Its fine texture contrasts nicely with the bold foliage of other shade lovers such as hostas or oakleaf hydrangea. The dainty blossoms also make excellent, long-lasting fillers for floral arrangements.

Some recent botanical and taxonomic references place this species in the genus Eurybia (i.e., Eurybia divaricata).

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    8"-36" / 20.3cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    12"-30" / 30.5cm - 76.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes