Symphotricum lateriflorum – Calico Aster

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Symphotricum lateriflorum – many asters are classed as symphyotrichum from Greek words for junction (symphysis) and hair (trichos) referring to the flower petals, The specific epithet means flowers on the side.

FLOWER: White blossoms with maroon and yellow centers

BLOOMING PERIOD:  August to October

SIZE:  One to four feet tall

BEHAVIOR: Host for several caterpillars of butterfly species, somewhat unpalatable to deer and rabbits. 

SITE REQUIREMENTS:  Woodland edges and open woodlands with reasonably moist soil and sufficient sunshine.

NATURAL RANGE:  much of Canada, through out the central and eastern U.S.  It is found in most of Wisconsin.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Flowers for an extended period, often right up to the first frost.

SUGGESTED CARE:  Easy to care for, but the clump should be divided every few years.  The division can be done when the plant is dormant in late fall or early spring.

COMPANION PLANTS:  Possible pairings with purple coneflowers, sweet black-eyes Susan and blazingstar species (liatris).