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Symphyotrichum sericeum (Western silver aster)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Symphyotrichum sericeum

Symphyotrichum sericeum (Vent.) G.L. Nesom

Western Silver Aster, Western Silver American-aster, Silky Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Aster sericeus, Lasallea sericea, Virgulus sericeus

USDA Symbol: SYSE2

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

1-2 ft. The plant has a delicate appearance because of its small, pointed, gray-green leaves and wiry, zig-zag stems. Silky hairs cover the leaves. Blue-violet, solitary flowers with yellow centers.

Once established, this plant tends to form clumps and to self-seed.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 2 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 , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Rarely white.


USA: AR , IA , IL , IN , KS , MI , MN , MO , ND , NE , OH , OK , SD , TN , TX , WI
Canada: MB , ON
Native Distribution: Northern MI to s. Man., s. to TN, AR, & e. TX
Native Habitat: Dry, open woods; bluffs; prairies

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Once established, silky aster tends to form clumps and to self-seed.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Pearl Crescent
(Phyciodes tharos)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Usually propagated by seed planted in fall or cold-moist stratified and planted in spring.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratify 10 weeks at 40 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

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


Record Modified: 2023-01-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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