Purple-stemmed Aster

Botanical Name: Symphyotrichum puniceum

Height: Tall, over 1m.

Season of bloom: September.

Growing Conditions: Full sun.to light shade. Reliably moist soil. Clump-forming; does not run

Wildlife benefits: All the late-season asters are important food sources for wild bees, bee flies, and many other insects.  Purple-stemmed Aster’s leaves are eaten by caterpillars of the butterflies Silvery Checkerspot and  Pearl Crescent.

From Ottawa Valley or eastern Ontario sources: Yes.

Remarks: Also called Swamp Aster. An excellent plant for shoreline naturalization but the relatively large blue flowers also make it a candidate for a moist spot in the perennial garden. It will be “bare below the knees” by the time it flowers, so place it behind other plants in the border.

Similar species: Heart-leaved Aster.

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