Symphyotrichum patens

late purple aster, spreading aster, spead-leaf aster, sky-drop aster


Leaf Arrangement


Leaf Attachment


Leaf Margin


Leaf Type


Leaf Shape

oblong, lanceolate, oblanceolate, ovate

Growth Form


Flower Color

blue, purple

Flower Petals


Flower Month

August - November

Height (meters)

0.3 - 1.2

Milky Sap








Growing Season

Warm season

Prairie Coefficient of Conservatism


Field Characters

One of only 2 asters in Louisiana with leaves that clasp and surround the stem (the other is Aster tenuifolius which has very long narrow leaves). Leaves are rough-textured like sandpaper. Its phyllaries have a greenish midrib that expands towards the apex forming a green splotch. The tips of these phyllaries are crowded with numerous glands.

Cultural Information

Seed germination improves with cold/moist stratification (Steffen 1997). There are approximately 800,000 seed/lb. Grows in medium to fine textured soils with a pH 4.9 - 6.9. Recommended planting density in monoculture is from 1700 - 4800 plants/acre.

Animal Use

The following information is for the genus Aster: Animals that eat its seeds: Wild turkey. Animals that eat the plant: Cottontail, White-tailed deer (Martin et al. 1951).

Natural History

Growth Habit Forb/herb Federal T/E Status Duration Perennial U.S. Nativity Native Morphology/Physiology Active Growth Period Spring, Summer, Fall Fruit/Seed Color Brown After Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow Fruit/Seed Conspicuous No Allelopath No Growth Form Multiple Stem Bloat None Growth Rate Moderate C:N Ratio High Height, Mature (feet) 2.50 Fall Conspicuous Yes Leaf Retention No Fire Resistant No Lifespan Long Flower Color Purple Low Growing Grass No Flower Conspicuous Yes Nitrogen Fixation None Foliage Color Dark Green Resprout Ability No Foliage Porosity Summer Dense Shape and Orientation Semi-Erect Foliage Porosity Winter Porous Toxicity None Foliage Texture Coarse Growth Requirements Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils No Moisture Use Medium Adapted to Fine Textured Soils Yes pH, Minimum 4.90000010 Adapted to Medium Textured Soils Yes pH, Maximum 6.90000010 Anaerobic Tolerance None Planting Density per Acre, Minimum 1700 CaCO3 Tolerance Medium Planting Density per Acre, Maximum 4800 Cold Stratification Required No Precipitation, Minimum 30 Drought Tolerance Medium Precipitation, Maximum 55 Fertility Requirement Medium Root Depth, Minimum (inches) 10 Fire Tolerance High Salinity Tolerance None Frost Free Days, Minimum 80 Shade Tolerance Tolerant Hedge Tolerance None Temperature, Minimum (°F) -38 Reproduction Bloom Period Late Summer Propagated by Cuttings No Commercial Availability No Known Source Propagated by Seed Yes Fruit/Seed Abundance High Propagated by Sod No Fruit/Seed Period Begin Summer Propagated by Sprigs Yes Fruit/Seed Period End Fall Propagated by Tubers No Fruit/Seed Persistence Yes Seed per Pound 800000 Propagated by Bare Root No Seed Spread Rate Slow Propagated by Bulbs No Seedling Vigor Medium Propagated by Container Yes Small Grain No Propagated by Corms No Vegetative Spread Rate None Suitability/Use Berry/Nut/Seed Product No Palatable Browse Animal Low Fodder Product No Palatable Human No Fuel wood Product None Post Product No Lumber Product No Protein Potential Low Naval Store Product No Pulpwood Product No Nursery Stock Product No


Open dry situations, rocky soils in open woodlands and fields, pastures, woodland borders.