Aster ericoides: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing and Caring for This Beautiful Flower


Aster ericoides, also known as heath aster or silky aster, is a beautiful perennial plant that is native to North America. This stunning flower is often found in meadows and prairies, giving them a burst of color during the late summer months. The plant is mostly found in the central and eastern parts of the United States, but it also occurs in Mexico.

The aster ericoides plant is known for its delicate appearance and small-stature. It reaches heights of only 2 to 3 feet and has fine, hairy stalks with tiny leaves. The flowers are arranged in simple umbellata, flat-topped clusters and have a diameter of about ¾ inch. The composite flowers have white, pink, or purple rays, and a yellow disk in the center.

This plant is a favorite among gardeners for its versatility. It can be used as a border plant or in containers, making it perfect for small-space gardens. Aster ericoides will also attract many pollinators such as bees and butterflies, bringing even more life to your garden. It is an ideal choice for those seeking a low-maintenance plant, as it requires little attention once established.

Aster ericoides is easy to grow from seeds, which can be sown outdoors in the early spring or late fall. The plant prefers well-draining soil and should be watered sparingly to prevent root rot. It can tolerate a variety of conditions, including full sun to partial shade.

In addition to its beauty and low-maintenance nature, aster ericoides also provides habitat and food for various wildlife species. Birds like lady beetles and goldfinches are often seen perched on the delicate stems, while bees and butterflies feast on the nectar-rich flowers. This plant is truly a sight to behold, with its delicate flowers and evergreen basal leaves.

So, if you’re looking to add a burst of color and beauty to your garden, look no further than aster ericoides. Its stunning flowers, compact size, and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions make it an excellent choice for any garden. And with its long flowering period, from early summer through fall, you’ll be enjoying the beauty of aster ericoides for months on end. Don’t wait any longer – plant some aster ericoides in your garden and watch it come to life!

11 White Aster Varieties for the Late Summer to Fall Garden

White asters are a beautiful addition to any garden, adding a touch of elegance and brightness to the landscape. With their delicate petals and attractive foliage, white aster varieties are a popular choice for late summer and fall gardens. Here are 11 white aster varieties that you can consider planting in your own garden:

1. Aster ericoides
2. Aster novae-angliae ‘Alba’
3. Aster oolentangiensis
4. Aster puniceus ‘Albus’
5. Aster cordifolius ‘White Elegance’
6. Aster divaricatus
7. Aster laevis ‘Calliope’
8. Aster macrophyllus
9. Aster novae-angliae ‘White Climax’
10. Aster novi-belgii ‘White Ladies’
11. Aster ptarmicoides ‘Snow Flurry’

White asters come in a variety of heights, ranging from short 7-inch tall varieties to tall and imposing 3-foot specimens. Some white asters have a compact, bushy growth habit, while others have a more open and spreading form. The flowers feature a central disk surrounded by numerous narrow petals, giving them a daisy-like appearance. The foliage of white asters is usually hairy and relatively wide, adding to the plant’s overall attractiveness.

White asters are native to North America and are well-suited for native gardening. They can grow in full sun or partial shade, and are relatively low maintenance. White asters are popular for their ability to naturalize, meaning they can spread and establish themselves in a garden over time.

One of the unique features of white asters is their ability to bloom late in the gardening season, typically from late summer to fall. This makes them an excellent choice for adding colour to the garden when other flowers may be fading. Their long-lasting blooms add interest and beauty to the landscape, especially as other plants begin to decline.

If you’re considering adding white asters to your garden, here are a few tips for successful germination and growth:

  • White asters prefer well-drained soil and should be watered regularly, especially during periods of drought.
  • Plant white asters in an area with good air circulation to prevent diseases.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
  • White asters can benefit from staking or support, especially the taller varieties.
  • White asters attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, so they can be a valuable addition to a pollinator garden.

If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance and brightness to your garden, consider planting one or more of these stunning white aster varieties. Their beautiful blooms, attractive foliage, and low maintenance make them an ideal choice for any garden. Whether you’re seeking compact plants or towering specimens, white asters are sure to be a delightful addition to your late summer to fall garden. Visit your local nursery or garden center to see the full range of white aster varieties available and choose the ones that best suit your garden’s needs.

Sponsored by The White Aster Society

Best White Aster Varieties

The Aster ericoides, commonly known as “Wood Aster,” is a wide and popular variety of aster. It is native to the central and eastern regions of the United States, specifically New York.

One recommended white variety of the Aster ericoides is the panicled aster, also known as Aster ericoides ‘Snow Flurry.’ This variety has slender stalks and small white flowers that were well-draining soils.

Another white variety is Aster lateriflorum, also called the “Calico aster.” This variety has short, bushy stature and grows in a pubescent form. It is native to Wisconsin and is known for its flat-topped clusters of white flowers.

Growers can plant these white aster varieties from seeds, following guidelines for proper maintenance. The aster seeds tend to have a specific shape, often described as linear or even slender. They can be easily dispersed and naturalizes in suitable habitats.

One of the best features of these white aster varieties is their ability to withstand frost. They are well-suited for late summer or early fall planting and bloom through the first frost. Their rounded or bushy growth habit adds beauty to gardens and landscapes.

White aster varieties, such as Aster ericoides and Aster lateriflorum, can be a great addition to any garden or landscape. They provide a touch of elegance with their beautiful white flowers and are a reliable choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

1 Snowbank

The ‘Snowbank’ variety of Aster ericoides is a feature of late summer and fall gardens. It is a hardy perennial that grows in a carpet-like form, reaching heights of about 9 inches (23 cm). The branching stems are slender and rounded, with small white flowers that have yellow stigmas. The phyllaries, or leaf-like structures at the base of the flower, wither and fall off as the flowers mature, leaving behind a snowy white surface. This variety is especially beautiful in the garden after a light frost, as the white flowers contrast with the fall colours and bring a sense of calm to the space.

‘Snowbank’ asters are perfect for garden borders or rock gardens, as they have a low and spreading habit. They prefer full sun to light shade and well-drained soils. This variety is often seen in photos of New York gardens, where it is a popular choice for adding a touch of white to garden beds. In Wisconsin and other areas with cold winters, ‘Snowbank’ asters can be a valuable addition to a winter garden. Their hardiness allows them to survive frost and even snow and continue to provide colour through the colder months.

The inflorescence of ‘Snowbank’ asters is made up of small white flowers, which are arranged in clusters at the tips of the branching stems. Each flower has 6 to 9 phyllaries, giving the inflorescence a full and rounded appearance. The flowers have slender, white rays and a yellow center, creating a delicate and daisy-like appearance. This variety is also known as ‘heath aster’ or ‘white heath aster’.

‘Snowbank’ asters can be easily grown from seeds, and they will often self-seed in the garden. They can also be propagated by division, especially in the spring when the plants are still small. This variety is a great choice for low-maintenance gardening, as it requires little care once established. It is resistant to pests and diseases and can withstand dry spells. However, it is important to water ‘Snowbank’ asters during dry periods to ensure their best performance.

Height Hardiness Blooming Period
9 inches (23 cm) Hardy Late summer to fall

The ‘Snowbank’ variety of Aster ericoides is a popular choice among gardeners for its delicate white flowers and low-growing habit. Whether planted in groups or as a single specimen, it adds a touch of elegance and serenity to any garden. It is especially beautiful when paired with other asters of different colours, creating a stunning calico effect. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance perennial that provides colour even in the cooler months, ‘Snowbank’ aster is a great choice.

2 Colour Carpet White

The Aster ericoides ‘2 Colour Carpet White’ is a beautiful perennial plant that adds a touch of elegance to any garden. With its delicate white flowers and slender, bushy branches, this aster is a simple yet attractive choice for gardeners.

The plant reaches a height of about 2 to 3 feet and spreads to about 2 feet wide. It prefers light shade and well-drained soils, making it an excellent option for small-space gardens. It blooms from July to September, showcasing its lovely white flowers with yellow disks that reach about ¼ inch above the foliage.

The ‘2 Colour Carpet White’ aster is especially stunning when planted in groups or as a ground cover. It can also be used in restoration projects, as it attracts butterflies and bees with its nectar-rich blooms. Its dense branching structure provides a habitat for small wildlife, making it even more valuable.

This aster is easy to care for and requires minimal maintenance. It should be watered regularly during the first few months after planting to promote root establishment. Once mature, it can withstand periods of drought and even recover from partial withering.

If you are interested in adding the ‘2 Colour Carpet White’ aster to your garden, please visit local nurseries or contact our sponsors for further information. This aster is available at many nurseries and garden centers, and it can easily be grown from seeds or propagated through division.

The ‘2 Colour Carpet White’ aster is a fantastic addition to any garden, providing a flurry of white blooms and adding a touch of elegance to any landscape. Its long-lasting flowers and attractive branching structure make it a popular choice for garden enthusiasts, especially those who have a special interest in attracting wildlife to their gardens.

✿ Read More About Flowers.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.