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Aromatic Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (Nutt.) G.L. Nesom)

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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.


Aromatic aster usually grows in full sun, in dry conditions, in hilly terrain, with rocky, often high-pH soil. In the east of its range, it is uncommon and limited to rock outcroppings and bluffs, usually on calcareous rocks, such as in limestone barrens. Farther west it becomes more common and is found in mixed-grass prairies on dry upland sites, such as hills and slopes with rocky or gravely soils, especially those made of dolomite or limestone.


Aromatic aster is widely grown in gardens, but unfortunately, is often grown without much regard to its habitat preferences. It is valued for its showy flower and compact growth habit, and it tolerates a wide range of adverse soil conditions including dry clay, shallow or rocky soil, and erosion. Within its range, it can be a good choice for harsh sites that mimic its native habitat, such as on hot, dry sites in urban areas where a small patch of thin or poor soil is surrounded by cement and/or pavement. In richer gardens it competes poorly and is quickly swallowed up by other vegetation or overrun by weeds, and it has poor shade-tolerance. It is easier to maintain if planted in dry conditions and poor soil where it will compete better against weeds.

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