Silky Aster is a delightful small aster for prairie to savanna situations in gravelly to dry soils. Its fuzzy silver leaves clasp wiry stems. Large lavender daisy flowers begin blooming in September.
Asters are key pollinator plants that provide a welcome source of late-season nectar. Numerous moths and butterflies, like the pearl crescent, use them as larval hosts.
The nectar and pollen of the flowerheads attract bumblebees, leaf-cutting bees, green metallic bees, Syrphid flies, and small- to medium-sized butterflies. Syrphid flies are probably non-pollinating. A plant bug, Psallus astericola, feeds on Silky Aster. Other insects that feed of the foliage and other parts of asters (Symphyotrichum spp.) include leaf beetles, the larvae of leaf-mining flies, the larvae of gall flies, other plant bugs, aphids, the larvae of moths and butterflies, and grasshoppers.
Soil Type: Loam/Sand
Soil Conditions: Dry Mesic-Dry
Flower Color: Lavender
Light: Full sun
Credits: Info courtesy of Pizzo Native Nursery and IllinoisWildflowers.Info; Photo courtesy of IllinoisWildflowers.Info