Symphyotrichum shortii (Lindl.) G.L. Nesom
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Aster camptosorus, Aster shortii
USDA Symbol: SYSH
Blooming at the same time as Broadleaf Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis), this woodland aster can suffuse a Southeastern forest or shady garden in a purple mist of blooms in the autumn. The centers of the flowers start out yellow but turn brick red after pollination. It will self-sow and spread throughout an area, but individual plants are short-lived. It attracts an array of pollinators and seed eaters.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Flower: Flower 1 inch across
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Flower centers (disc flowers) open yellow but turn dark red after pollination.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MD , MI , MN , MS , NC , OH , PA , TN , VA , WI , WV
Native Distribution: eastern US, Zones 6 to 8
Native Habitat: Savanna, Forest Edge, Prairie/Meadow/Field, in shaded or partially shaded spots
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: rich, acid sands and loams; tolerates lime
BenefitUse Ornamental: Flowers add clouds of purple to the shady Southeastern woodland garden.
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Seeds attract cardinals, finches, grosbeaks, sparrows, thrashers, towhees, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and turkeys.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Seed Collection: Matures in mid- to late fall.
Maintenance: Short-lived so allow to seed out where you want it to continue.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Symphyotrichum shortii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Symphyotrichum shortii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Symphyotrichum shortii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff