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ASTER oblongifolius 'October Skies'

Image of Aster oblongifolius 'October Skies'

James Burghardt

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ASTER oblongifolius 'October Skies'

Plant Common Name

Aromatic Aster

General Description

Noted for its compact, spreading habit, 'October Skies' is a wonderfully landscape-friendly aromatic aster that's as tough as it is pretty. Its many lavender-blue daisies have dusty yellow centers and fine petals. Their cool color contrasts beautifully with yellow-flowered fall composites. Flowering typically begins in mid-fall and continues for up to three or four weeks.

This North American native is among the best perennials for providing bold masses of late-season color. Clouds of violet or purple daisies with fine petals and yellow centers appear in late summer and fall on stout many-branched stems. A single plant can have a dozen or more flower stems. The blooms are irresistible to butterflies as well as other beneficial insects that flock to this late-season nectar source. The foliage is remarkably fragrant when crushed, hence its common name.

Full sun and well-drained soil with average fertility are key requirements for aromatic aster. Neutral to alkaline soil is preferred. Once established this tough perennial will tolerate heat and drought. Wild-type plants can become quite tall, so it is often necessary to stake the flower-laden stems. If pinched back by ΒΌ in early summer this aster will have denser branching and produce more flowers.

Showy wildflowers like this offer effortless beauty to home side perennial borders and naturalistic plantings alike. Gardeners keen on butterflies should also consider planting aromatic aster. The low, spreading habit or 'October Skies' also lends this plant to border edges. Some even suggest is makes a great herbaceous groundcover.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    18'-24' / 5.5m - 7.3m

  • Bloom Time

    Fall, Late Fall

  • Native To

    North America, Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Blue, Lavender

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes