Heath Aster, Aster ericoides

The fall-blooming heath aster grows in dry, open prairie habitats commonly used when restoring native prairie habitat.

The genus Aster includes some 600 species of widely distributed flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Aster comes from Greek word for “star”, and refers to the shape of the flower head. Many of the species are popular garden plants because of their showy flower heads. The flowers of the Sea Aster (A. tripolium) are eaten by the larvae of the Wormwood Pug moth. The larva of the Hummingbird hawk moth sometimes eats the foliage of asters.

The genus Aster is now generally restricted to the Old World species. The other species have now been reclassified in the genera Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus and Symphyotrichum (see : List of Aster synonyms).