Native Plant of the Week: Silky Aster ~ Symphyotrichum sericeum (Aster sericeus)
Silky Aster is aptly named for its soft violet pink flowers and silvery leaves. We planted a large amount of Silky Aster in our yard this year with the Grant Project.
It just started to flower in amongst the Little Bluestem and Side Oats Grama grasses. This area is extremely sandy, well drained and dry.
Silky aster "habitats include dry gravel prairies, dolomite prairies, sand prairies, hill prairies, scrubby barrens, limestone glades, and prairie remnants along railroads (rarely)". (Illinois Wildflowers)
The Botanical Survey of Nebraska by Pound & Clements, 1900
You can see in the photo of the close up of the hairy leaves that the stem has been nipped by a rabbit. So, yes, unfortunately this is one prairie native that the bunnies love.
The bees and syrphid flies like to nectar on this plant as it flowers from August through October.
If you have a dry, sunny and well drained spot in your yard for this well behaved Aster, I would highly recommend it.
© Heather Holm, 2015. Heather Holm