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California Aster
Symphyotrichum chilense
  
About California Aster (Symphyotrichum chilense) 61 Nurseries Carry This Plant The cheerful California Aster (Symphyotrichum chilense) is a member of the Sunflower family that's native to coastal California. This perennial blooms from summer to fall, making it a good garden companion for other plants that have a spring blooming season. Its petite flowers bloom in subtle shades of blue and lavender. Butterflies and moths are attracted to the nectar. California Aster is a host plant for several species of both insects. Birds eat the seeds after blooming.

California Aster likes loamy clay soil and full or partial sun exposure. It does well in moist soil,but is also drought-adapted and can tolerate receiving little to no supplemental summer water. Cut this plant back to the ground in late fall or early winter. Deadheading produces more flowers, but in wildlife gardens it is often left to go to seed. New growth appears in late winter. It spreads easily by rhizomes; the low-growing ?Point Saint George' cultivar is often used as a groundcover plant.
Symphyotrichum chilense – The Watershed Nursery. (n.d.). https://www.watershednursery.com/nursery/plant-finder/symphyotrichum-chilensis/
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Size
Size
1.3 - 3.3 ft tall
3 ft wide

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Flower Color
Blue, Lavender, Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Summer

Wildlife Supported
 
The flowers attract many beneficial insects. The genus Symphyotrichum contains host plants for the Northern Checkerspot, Field Crescent and Pearl Crescent butterflies.

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 10 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low, Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established, Max 2x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Medium, Slow, Standing

Soil Description
Soil Description
Prefers loamy clay soil. Soil PH: 5.8 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Works well with many shrubs and perennials, especially central coast species

Maintenance
Maintenance
Can be cut back to the ground in winter. Deadhead during blooming season to produce more flowers.

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. "Seeds are from the flowers, they are connected to little fluffy bits that fly in the wind. Detatching the fluff from the seeds is not worth the time. Rather take a handful of collected seed fluff and sprinkle it in the desired area. Seeds sprout within a week. This plant looks like a common weed but is not. Be aware of this when pulling weeds in your garden." (JT)

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Grassy places, salt marshes, disturbed places

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 7.6" - 93.4", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 2.08", Coldest Month: 32.7" - 54.5", Hottest Month: 57.0" - 76.9", Humidity: 0.03" - 27.19", Elevation: -253" - 6735"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Aster chilensis,Symphyotrichum chilense var. chilense,Symphyotrichum chilense var. invenustum,Symphyotrichum chilense var. medium
Common Names: Common California Aster, Pacific Aster


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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