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ASTER pilosus

Image of Aster pilosus

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ASTER pilosus

Plant Common Name

Frost Aster, White Oldfield Aster

General Description

Clouds of tiny white daisies cover the dense branches of this North American wildflower in late fall. It often blooms when the first frosts of late fall arrive, which explains the pretty common name, frost aster. Native populations exist across the eastern half of North America and favor open woods, fields, roadsides and prairies.

Frost aster is tall, bushy and has fine, stiff, slightly hairy leaves that are light to medium green. Its arching stems are also hairy and become lined with lots of tiny white daisies with fine, feathery petals in late fall. Specimens growing in the south may bloom earlier. Insect pollinators of all sorts cloud around the flowers until temperatures become too cold for them. The fluffy white seedheads mature in winter and offer food to foraging birds.

Like most common field plants, this aster is very easy to grow and tends to self-sow. It grows beautifully in most well-drained soil types and blooms and grows best in full sun. It is ideal for meadow or wildflower gardens. The flowers are long-lasting when cut and have a faint sweet fragrance.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall

  • Native To

    North America

Growing Conditions

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • 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