Calico Aster (Aster lateriflorus)
A purchase of an ounce of Calico Aster seed can yield over a hundred plants.
The flowers of Calico Aster are small compared to most Symphyotrichum species. 7–15 short white ray florets are average for each flowerhead. Surprisingly these petals can be rarely tinted pink or purple. The flower centers, composed of disk florets, begin as cream to yellow and often become pink, purple, orange or brown as they mature. The plant is named “Calico,” for this reason. The variety of color in disk florets in a unique feature among flowers. There are roughly 8–16 disk florets. Each floret has five lobes that strongly reflex (bend backwards) when open. The mostly hairless leaves have a characteristic hairy midrib on their back faces, and branching is usually horizontal or in what can appear to be a zigzag pattern. Flower heads grow along one side of the branches and sometimes in clusters at the ends.
Also known as Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, this plant’s versatility is unparalleled. As at home in a roadside restoration landscaping project as a rain garden edge, this Aster wins awards.
If you’d like to hire our landscape design/build team, we’d love to meet you! Asters are one of our company’s specialties. Fill out our consultation request form and we’ll be in touch soon.