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Native Plant of the Week: Stiff Aster

Family: Asteraceae


Name: Ionactis linariifolia


Bloom Time: August - October


Flower: Purple (sometimes white or pink)


Soil Condition: Average-dry-moist


Light: Sun-Partial Shade


Height: 12-20" tall by 12" wide


Native Range: Eastern United States including Long Island


Zone: 4-9


The stiff aster is an underutilized native plant that is at home in a sunny or partially sunny border. The needle-like foliage and tidy form make it a great edger. It is also a nice addition to rock gardens.

Photo: Flowers and form (Pauline Singleton CC BY-NC 4.0)


Maintenance: cut back in June as this is an earlier blooming variety of aster


Benefits: Attracts native bees and specialists, butterflies and beetles, host plant to the silvery checkerspot and pearl crescent butterflies


Companion Plants: Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed), Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot), Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflower), Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple Love Grass), Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)


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