Sky Blue Aster (Aster azureus) Also known as Symphyotrichum oolentangiensis. Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie region in a dizzying array of habitats from marshes to woodlands. Aster colonies frequently cover large areas. Prefers full sun to mesic and dry conditions. Excellent border plant. Often quite striking in color, the asters bloom from July through the first hard frost. Butterflies, bees and wasps are attracted to Sky Blue Aster.
From the Greek, “Aster” in reference to the shape of the flower and its bracts. At least 200 species are found across North America with dozens in the Tallgrass Praire region alone.
Blooms In Summer & Fall
Several tribes used the smoke from burning aster plants to assist in reviving persons who had fainted. Some other Native American tribes brewed a tea from aster plants to relieve headaches. In our area, the Meskwaki would make a smudge from Aster laeteriflorus to treat insanity (we tried it here, but our seed department crew is still a little off).
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