Asters are always welcome in the fall when other plants are fading, and aromatic aster is one of the last asters to bloom. A profusion of blue flowers with yellow centers are produced on bushy plants that continue blooming for 1-2 months. Although the flowers are not fragrant the crushed foliage has a pleasant aroma and is attractive all summer before the flowers appear. It spreads by creeping rhizomes. A native of rocky slopes, meadows, and savannas of eastern and central United States, aromatic aster is useful in the border as well in a meadow garden. It is an outstanding wildflower and has given rise to some cultivars such as ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ and ‘October Skies’.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: Masses of lilac blue flowers with yellow centers are produced for a month or two in fall until the first frost.
Foliage: Leaves are alternate, 2” long and ½” wide, and slightly pubescent. They have a strong aroma when crushed, giving rise to the common name of the plant
Size: 1-2’ H x 4’ W
Light: Full sun to light shade
Soil: Poor, dry well-drained; average moisture tolerated if well-drained
Fertilizer: Excessive fertilizer will cause plants to flop
Hardiness: Zones 3-8
Care: Shear in June to control height and promote bushiness
Pests and Diseases: Foliage may be susceptible to powdery mildew
Propagation: Division in winter, spring or early summer
Companion plants: Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), goldenrod (Solidago spp.)