Aromatic Aster
(Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)

Aromatic Asters are the last asters to bloom -- one of the cultivars of this plant is called 'October Skies"; during October, the color of the sky is deeper blue than usual.

  • During late summer and fall, the most important nectar plant is the aster.  Bees, wasps, butterflies and moths hover over the blossoms in the gardens at Lakeside; at times there are so many insects feeding that the flowers are almost obscured.
  • Lewis and Clark noted this plant at Big Bend, Missouri, on September 21, 1804.
  • The Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly and the Pearl Crescent Butterfly larvae feed on Asters.
  • Asters provide food for many species of moth caterpillars, including the Camouflaged Looper.  This is the only widespread caterpillar that adorns its body with plant fragments.  It snips off parts of leaves and flowers and attaches them to its body.

Updated, December, 2016