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Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (Calico aster)
Brundage, Stephanie

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (L.) Á. Löve & D. Löve

Calico Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: SYLA4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Several small flower heads of white or pale purple ray flowers surrounding yellow or purple disc flowers are on one side of straggly, divergent branches.

This is one of a group of closely related white, narrow-leaved asters that presumably interbreed and are difficult to distinguish. The common name refers to the fact that the heads are at first yellow and later turn purplish-red, so that flowers on one plant and even a single head may include both colors at the same time.


From the Image Gallery

67 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Ontario to Nova Scotia south through New England to Georgia; west to Tennessee and Arkansas; north to Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Fields, thickets.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

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

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.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-01-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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