Plant Spotlight On Swamp Aster
June 15, 2021
Swamp Asters resemble a New England Aster, but are a North American native that tolerates heavy moisture and is a pollinator favorite. Growth on reddish hairy stems is tall and spectacular, so it is well placed at the back of the border or in a native wildflower garden. Also found in wetland margins, meadows, fields, and the shores of rivers or lakes, the Swamp Aster makes an excellent water sponge in a rain garden.
All About the Swamp Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum)
Also known as: Glossy-leaved aster, Aster puniceus, Purplestem Aster, Red-stalk aster, Red-stemmed aster, Early purple aster, Meadow scabish
Plant Description: Hairy-stemmed aster with glossy green leaves that can grow between 2 to 8 inches long. Branching clusters support the blooms which are prolific violet-to-lavender daisy-like flower with yellow centers. Excellent rain garden and moisture seeking perennial. Attracts butterflies in droves. Fall colors can lean towards purple.
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Sun/Shade: Full sun
Cultivation: Grows particularly well in average to wet soils which are well-drained and organically rich. Native that self-seeds readily and will spread significantly. Is often pulled out in spring as a “weed” because the plant takes a long time to flower. Be sure to mark these perennials to prevent early pulling. Seeds are distributed after bloom in late summer or early fall.
Height: 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4meters)
Width: 2 to 3 feet (.60 to .91 meters)
Bloom: Violet with yellow centers, sometimes white
Bloom Time: Late summer
Origin: Eastern North America
Zones: zone 2, zone 3, zone 4, zone 5, zone 6, zone 7, zone 8, zone 9
Wildlife: Butterflies, honeybees, bumblebees, wasps, bee flies, skippers, moths
Landscape Uses: Rain garden, river and pond borders, naturalized gardens, mixed beds and borers, fall flowering gardens, back of the border, butterfly gardens, pollinator landscapes
Special Features: Great late-season back-of-the-border bloomer with spectacular blooms that last nearly two months.
Download iScape now and create designs for landscapes that make food and family fun as well as make your community beautiful. Or, if you need some design help, Hire-a-Designer now and let the iScape Pro’s help guide you! iScape it!