Aster armeriifolius Greene
Aster ascendens Lindl.
Aster chilensis adscendens Cronquist
Aster denudatus Nutt.
Aster griseus Greene
Aster lonchophyllus Greene
Aster macounii Rydb.
Aster nuttallii Torr. & A.Gray
Aster ramulosus Nutt.
Aster subgriseus Rydb.
Virgulaster ascendens (Lindl.) Semple
Symphyotrichum ascendens is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a rhizomatous rootstock; it produces erect to ascending stems 20 - 60cm tall, the plant spreading to form a colony of stems.
The plant is used in soil stabilization projects and has potential in soil reclamation of polluted soils.
The plant can accumulate selenium on contaminated soils and become toxic to livestock[
Western N. America - British Colombia to Saskatchewan, south to California, Arizona and New Mexico
Meadows, grasslands, damp areas in sagebrush steppe and Ponderosa pine woodlands; at elevations from 500 - 3,200 metres[
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Symphyotrichum ascendens is found in a wide variety of climatic conditions in western N. America, ranging from semi-arid to wet, with winters that can be very cold or mild and summers that are usually warm to hot. Mean annual precipitation can range from 200 - 1,060mm[
Grows best in a sunny position, preferring a loamy soil[
]. Succeeds in a pH ranging from 5 - 8[
Plants generally develop an extensive root system in their first year of growth from seed[
The plant is not typically damaged by grazing, rabbits or rodents during its first year of growth[
The plant can accumulate selenium on contaminated soils[
] and so could be of value in restoring selenium-contaminated soils[
This species may have potential for rangeland seedings in semi arid plant communities. It establishes readily from broadcast or drill seedings and competes with and even suppresses cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Western aster
recovers well from wildfires and spreads naturally by seed and rhizomes. It does not require significant soil preparation for establishment and can be used on shallow, rocky and infertile soils including roadways[
It can be used for seeding unstable slopes. Young plants do not attract heavy use from cattle, and the mature plants provide good cover and have extensive roots[
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[
]. The seed usually germinates in 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[
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.