38730Often called the daisy, sunflower, or composite family, the aster family is one of the largest plant families in the world. Although there are 22,000 species, ranging from herbs to shrubs, the common trait among the members of this family is the flower cluster, sometimes referred to as a head or capitulum.

Hairy Aster (Aster pilosus) is a shrubby native wildflower. The Hairy Aster is a robust upright perennial that forms colonies from an interconnecting underground root system. In addition, this plant spreads by reseeding. The branched flowers begin blooming during the late summer and continue for about 6 weeks. The flower heads are composed of a ring of white petal-like ray. The flowers become especially important to late-season nectar seekers, such as bees and butterflies.

The Hairy Aster prefer sunny exposures but tolerate light shade, which makes it a perfect plant to thrive in Oak Savannas. This is a durable plant that can tolerate average, dry or moist soil. It is drought tolerant and somewhat unpalatable to deer and rabbits. This plant has many uses because of its durability. It is a good choice for a Wildlife Garden, Butterfly Nectar gardens, Erosion Control, Deer Resistant landscaping and Restoration Projects.

Wildflower of the Week: Hairy Aster