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Wild Asters of Autumn

Updated on December 25, 2015
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Yvonne writes about and photographs the flora and fauna of Louisiana, sharing knowledge she learned through study and personal experience.

Asters are an important pollinator plant.
Asters are an important pollinator plant. | Source

Native Asters for the Southern Landscape

As the days begin to grow shorter in late August and September, another of our favorite native flowering perennials, the Asters, begin putting on a show. A variety of colorful and hardy Asters are native to Louisiana and the Gulf Coastal region. We grow many wild Asters in our garden, including: the white flowered, Fall Aster (Aster ericoides), the tall bluish-purple flowers of Aster praealtus and the beautiful lavender Savanna Aster (Symphyotrichum chapmanii).

All are very easy to grow and will come back year after year. Members of the Aster family also attract pollinators, including several species of butterflies. The seed heads are very attractive and add a bit of interest to the winter landscape.

Most of the wildflower photos on this page can be purchased as print-on-demand posters, cards and other products online at Naturegirl7's Zazzle Shop.

Have you tried incorporating wildflowers into your landscape?

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White Asters, Aster ericoides
White Asters, Aster ericoides | Source

Fall Aster - Aster ericoides


These many branched plants grow 24 to 30 inches tall and some will stand erect and some will recline. The white flowers are small (only 1/2 inch wide) but occur in large clusters that will cover the plant. They occur throughout Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi from September into November.

Buckeye Postcard on Zazzle

A buckeye butterfly drinks nectar from fall asters.
A buckeye butterfly drinks nectar from fall asters. | Source

Wildflowers of the Gulf Coast

A wonderful book of wildflowers of the Gulf Coast region that is great for the beginner. The flowers are arranged by color and both the photographs and descriptions are excellent.

Wild Purple Aster Poster on Zazzle

These tall beauties really put on a show in autumn.
These tall beauties really put on a show in autumn. | Source

Blue to Purple Aster praealtus


Aster praealtus is a tall (up to 8 feet), beautiful bluish lavender perennial that grows in large colonies. The individual flowers are larger than those of the fall aster and the profusion of blooms on the 6 to 8 ft. plants is a sight to behold.

The plants will grow in almost any soil type and can be found in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi from September to frost.

Monarch Butterfly on Wild Asters Poster on Zazzle

Monarchs flock to wild blue asters whose nectar sustains them on their trek south to their wintering grounds in Mexico.
Monarchs flock to wild blue asters whose nectar sustains them on their trek south to their wintering grounds in Mexico. | Source

Gardeners Guide to Growing Asters

Savanna Aster Poster on Zazzle


Savanna Aster - Symphyotrichum chapmanii


The lovely Savanna Aster is a perennial herb that grows 1-3 feet tall in erect to arching stems which are divided into several slender branches. Each branch ends with a single blue to purple 1 1/2 inch flower having up to 21 rays on a brownish central head. The basal leaves are about 12 inches long and narrow. They bloom from August through November in flatwoods, bogs and savannas.

Honeybee on Aster Poster by Naturegirl7

Wildflowers such as this purple aster are an important part in the prevention of Colony Collapse Disorder.
Wildflowers such as this purple aster are an important part in the prevention of Colony Collapse Disorder. | Source

Wild Asters Attract and Feed Pollinators

Besides being beautiful additions to the fall garden, native Asters attract pollinators which are so important for our fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. With the recent decline in pollinators, this reason alone is enough to encourage their use in the landscape.

If you are using organic pest control, Asters and other small composite flowers, will help here, too. Several "assassin" insects and wasps visit these flowers and will help you by eating some of the insect pests in your garden.

Bumblebee in Aster Poster on Zazzle

Native bees such as this bumblebee are important pollinators.
Native bees such as this bumblebee are important pollinators. | Source

Wild Aster Seedheads on Zazzle

The fluffy seed heads of wild blue asters add winter interest to the landscape.
The fluffy seed heads of wild blue asters add winter interest to the landscape. | Source

Growing Wild Asters

Seed heads of Asters are attractive in the winter landscape and are eaten by small songbirds.

Asters grow well in sun to part shade in acid soil. Aster praealtus can be pruned until June 1 to form a bushy shape. Aster ericoides can take more shade and moist conditions.

Propagate by root division or seed. The seeds will self sow or you can sprinkle them around where you'd like them to grow.

Save Our Native Plants T-Shirt on Zazzle


Another great book from Wormsloe Foundation featuring "weeds" of the south. One man's weeds are another man's wildflowers. You'll find many beautiful wildflowers in this colorful and informative book.

Canon Powershot SX50 HS Camera

We used Canon Powershot (S3 and S5) cameras to take most of the photographs on this page. These are great little cameras with many excellent features. We especially like the macro and super macro settings for closeups and the 12X to 48X zoom.

Now we have upgraded to the SX50 HS and love, love love it. It takes great close ups and zooms in well, too. They are also reasonably priced.

© 2009 Yvonne L. B.

Tell us about your fall wildflowers or just leave a note.

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    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 3 weeks ago from East Coast

      Great pictures, and I see you have your favorite asters. They are beautiful flowers and I love the look of asters. They remind me of the chubby hand of a child reaching out to pick a flower for their mom.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

      thoughtfulgirl2 4 months ago from East Coast

      Loved your picture of the aster seed heads out of blooms which add some intrigue to the fall garden. Glad to know another aster fan

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Wild asters are in bloom right now in our prairie yard. They are beautiful.

    • trees001 profile image

      trees001 6 years ago

      This looks fantastic! I love the photos you have!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! Beautiful pictures!

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 7 years ago from Covington, LA

      @Tyla MacAllister: We use a Canon Powershot S5IS camera. It has a fabulous macro and super macro feature, plus a 12X to 48X zoom and many other good features. We set it on the P setting. It's not that expensive either.

    • Tyla MacAllister profile image

      Tyla MacAllister 7 years ago

      It's not really fall if the asters aren't blooming I just love asters and all the beautiful pollinators they bring. BTW,I live in Northeast Alabama and all the native asters in this lens grow near my home. Some of the white ones are still blooming now (the middle of November) because we haven't had much frost yet.

      Your photos are just fabulous! Bees and flowers are my favorite photo subjects but my images don't compare to yours. Hopefully,practice will make perfect.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Beautiful photos. Love the bees on the flowers. Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Beautiful pictures. Asters are great, blooming when many other things are past. Blessed.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Very pretty blue flowers. I love your butterfly pictures. Nicely done! :)

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Great pictures! Love that macro with butterfly! :) Blessed by an Angel!

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      Asters are one of my favorites, I've never seen the daisy looking ones before, very interesting

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Beautiful loooking lens. We don't have much wildflowers around here, mostly grass (the area we live in is sandy). Great photography and setup on this lens as usual, very well done. Squid Angel blessed!

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      Love those pictures of asters.

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Beautiful wild asters! Blessed by a joyful SquidAngel!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens - I felt like I was walking in a field. ***** and a favorite.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What gorgeous photos of the Asters and great information too. I love wildflowers.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Your amazing photography is so wonderful on your products. I really enjoyed this lens as I love any wildflower. You have truly captured the beauty of the Wild Asters.