Aster graveolens Nutt.
Aster kumleinii Fr. ex A.Gray
Aster multiceps Lindl. ex DC.
Aster oblongifolius Nutt.
Lasallea oblongifolia (Nutt.) Semple & Brouillet
Virgulus oblongifolius (Nutt.) Reveal & Keener
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a woody, rhizomatous rootstock; it produces a loose cluster of erect to ascending, more or less branched stems 10 - 80cm tall, occasionally to 100cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover - there are some named forms[
]. It is considered a good plant for cut flowers[
Eastern and central N. America - Montana to Pennsylvania, south to northern Mexico, New Mexico, Alabama and North Carolina
Open, dry, rocky, sandy, gravelly, or shaly soils, limestone glades and outcrops, sandstone or calcareous cliffs, open-wooded bluffs, prairies, pastures, dunes, roadsides; at elevations from 100 - 1,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The plant grows in the wild in well-drained moist to dry soils in full sun to partial shade[
]. Prefers neutral to slightly acidic soils[
]. Dit does well in both sandy and clay soils, and generally tolerates poor soils[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
The rigid stems give off a balsam-like scent when crushed[
]. The rigid, toothless, oblong, blue-green leaves are fragrant when crushed[
The plant can spread freely by means of stolons and may need regular thinning in order to control its spread[
A tea made from the roots has been used to treat fevers[
Aromatic aster is an adaptable, easy to grow ground cover for dry, sunny locations[
It will grow on disturbed sites and can be used for wildlife habitat restoration[
Seed - surface sow in spring in a cold frame. Do not allow the compost to become dry. Pre-chilling the seed for two weeks can improve germination rates[
]. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks at 20°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whist smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.