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Fall Aster

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium

Other common name(s):

Aromatic Aster

Family:

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Central Great Plains, Chihuahuan Deserts, Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Texas Blackland Prairies
Broken Red Plains, Limestone Plains
Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Low Mountains and Bajadas
Eastern Cross Timbers, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
Bastrop Lost Pines
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland
Northern Blackland Prairie

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

1
to
3
ft.

Spread

2
to
3
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Rocky, Calcareous, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Purple

Bloom Season

Fall

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Moths, Bees

Maintenance

May be thinned, divided, and transplanted. Gets top heavy, good idea to keep it thick by pruning it back in June. Propagation: Seed, Softwood cuttings.

Comments

Blooms September-December. Forms bright purple mounds in fall. Slowly colonizes by stolons. Fall flowers are a great nectar source for migrating monarchs & other butterflies.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonyn/s: Aster kumleinii, Aster oblongifolius, Aster oblongifolius var. angustatus, Aster oblongifolius var. orientis, Aster oblongifolius var. rigidulus, Lasallea oblongifolia, Virgulus oblongifolius

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SYOB. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Symphyotrichum+oblongifolium&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=4558&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 5) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=522228#null, 6) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014.
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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason