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White Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides (L.) G.L. Nesom)

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A widespread aster with a low-growing, compact growth habit. Native to, and occurring across north America, stretching not quite to the west coast. Most common in the north-central U.S. Both scientific and common names reference the similarity of its foliage to heather (Erica sp.), most of which also prefer open habitats.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.


Exposed sites with full sun, average dry conditions, and often preferring poorer soils because of reduced competition from other plants. Tolerates, clay, gravely, and alkaline soil, and disturbed sites with degraded soils. Drought-tolerant.

Found in prairies, along roadsides and railways, and in openings in rocky woodlands. Found both in natural and human-disturbed habitats.


This species is not commonly cultivated. Cultivated plants are sometimes sold under the name Aster ericoides, but may not actually be this species, and may be cultivars and/or hybrids of other Symphyotrichum species, perhaps owing to the difficulty of distinguishing some of these species.

Symphyotrichum ericoides (Heath Aster) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Symphyotrichum ericoides (White Heath Aster) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Symphyotrichum ericoides | Go Botany (About This Site)

Symphyotrichum ericoides (Heath Aster) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)

Symphyotrichum ericoides | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Symphyotrichum ericoides | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Symphyotrichum ericoides | Flora of North America (About This Site)

White Heath Aster | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)

Symphyotrichum ericoides (Heath Aster) | Minnesota Wildflowers (About This Site)