Botanical Name: Symphyotrichum elliottii
Common Name: Elliott’s Aster
Description: Florida has 26 native species of the beautiful Symphyotrichum. This is one of them.
In late summer to early fall, the abundant purple tufts of Elliot’s aster appear, almost like lavender cotton candy, adorning roadsides and natural areas. Occurring naturally in ditches, wet flatwoods, swamps, and marshes, it is a wonderful plant for attracting butterflies, bees, and other pollinators due to its many fragrant blooms. It has a moderate growth rate 3-4′ tall, a bit more when in flower.
Elliott’s aster is an herbaceous perennial wildflower that produces a coronet of blooms. Its compound flowers consist of many lavender ray florets surrounding yellow disk florets. Leaves are linear to lanceolate with finely serrated margins. They are alternately arranged.
Elliott’s aster works well in moist and wetland gardens and in containers. Would grow great in your rain garden. It does adapt to regular garden environment as long as it is not planted in a very dry spot. Needs supplemental water during extended droughts. If planted in shady areas, it tends to lean or fall over, so plant in sun or part sun for best results. Keep in mind that it does like to spread, which can be a good or bad thing depending on where you plant it in your garden.
It grows naturally in moist, sandy, loamy, or clay soils.
Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-15″ tall.
Plant Lore: The native asters can sometimes be difficult to tell apart. Elliott’s aster is relatively distinct however in its tall growth habit, tendency to form dense stands, and robust flowering.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 11