Exposure: Full-Partial Sun Soil: Dry-Medium Height: 12-18 inches Bloom: September
Notable Features: Both sides of the alternating leaves are covered with fine hairs that lie flat, creating a lovely silvery green appearance. It's worth growing for the attractive foliage alone! This aster sets many pretty violet-purple flowers on wide-set branches early fall and attracts a multitude of pollinators. Thriving in drier soils, silky aster reaches 1-2' in height making it a great choice for small gardens.
Attracts: The nectar and pollen of the flowerheads attract bumblebees, leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.), green metallic bees (Agapostemon spp.), Syrphid flies, and small- to medium-sized butterflies, including the endangered Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis). A plant bug, Psallus astericola, feeds on silky aster. Other insects that feed of the foliage and other parts of asters include leaf beetles, the larvae of leaf-mining flies, the larvae of gall flies, other plant bugs, aphids, the larvae of moths, the larvae of butterflies, and grasshoppers. Among mammals, the young foliage of these plants are browsed occasionally by rabbits, deer, and groundhogs. Silky Aster was found to increase in abundance as a result of grazing.