• Symphyotrichum lateriflorum

    Calico aster

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum

Calico aster Description:

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, commonly known as calico aster or late purple aster, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to North America. It typically grows to a height of 1-4 feet and has a bushy, upright habit.

The leaves of Symphyotrichum lateriflorum are alternate, lance-shaped, and toothed. The flowers are small, daisy-like, and arranged in panicles or clusters at the tips of the stems. They bloom in late summer to early fall, and can vary in color from white to pink to purple.

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum prefers moist, well-drained soils and can tolerate partial shade to full sun. It is a valuable plant for pollinators, attracting bees, butterflies, and other insects with its nectar-rich flowers. It is also used in ecological landscaping and as a native plant in gardens and naturalized areas.

Native Range:

calico aster is found in the central and Eastern United States. In Minnesota, this plant is found mostly in the central and northern regions. 

Standard Plant Information:

Plant Height: 1' - 4' 

Bloom Time: August - October

Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to full sun in average to moist soil. Often found in woods, thickets, floodplains, and fields. 


For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre.  For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.

You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.


Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.

maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum Gallery

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