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Symphyotrichum divaricatum (Southern annual saltmarsh aster)
Stone, Robert L.

Symphyotrichum divaricatum

Symphyotrichum divaricatum (Nutt.) G.L. Nesom

Southern Annual Saltmarsh Aster, Lawn American-aster, White Wood Aster, Saltmarsh Aster, Slender Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Aster divaricatus, Aster exilis, Aster neomexicanus, Aster subulatus var. ligulatus

USDA Symbol: SYDI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This is a 2 ft. tall, loose, sprawling American-aster with clusters of bright, white flowers. The tiny but numerous flowers have yellow centers and white petals that fade to dark pink. Wiry, black, drooping stems may be 3 ft. in length. Large, heart-shaped leaves become gradually smaller toward the top of the plant.

This white aster is a typical late summer-early fall bloomer in open woodlands. Among the related species in the East, the taller Bigleaf Aster (Eurybia macrophylla) has large, thick, rough leaves, lavender flowers, and rough, glandular flower stalks. When very young, its leaves may be cooked and eaten as greens. Both species used to be in the genus Aster.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , KS , LA , MO , MS , NE , NM , OK , TN , TX
Native Distribution: S. ME to OH, s. to GA & TN
Native Habitat: Dry woods & clearings

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Mesic to dry, average to rich soils.
Conditions Comments: White wood aster is easy to grow in partly shady gardens. It will flower in full shade and spreads readily.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0620 Collected Nov 5, 1993 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MM-784 Collected 2006-10-16 in Hays County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Additional resources

USDA: Find Symphyotrichum divaricatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Symphyotrichum divaricatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Symphyotrichum divaricatum


Record Modified: 2020-09-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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