Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.

Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information on using native plants in the landscape, issues related to invasive exotic plants, urban wildlife management, and wildlife damage management. It is my intention that this information will assist you in deciphering the multitude of information circulating around the web and condense in some meaningful method as it relates to Kentucky. In addition, I hope to highlight a native plant that can be used in the landscape.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Plant of the Week: Eastern Silvery Aster: Symphyotrichum concolor

This is one of my favorite fall blooming asters, along with the barrens silky aster (S. pratense) because these species are not aggressive in the least like many of our aster species.  Furthermore, they have outstanding fall color with the deep purple ray flowers and yellow disk flowers and wonderful silky, silvery leaves.  They do like different habitats though as the Eastern silvery aster likes dry, sandy, open woodlands (where the soil is mildly acidic) whereas the barrens silky aster likes dry limestone barrens and prairies.  The Eastern silvery aster ranges from New York down to Florida but skips areas in West Virginia and Pennsylvania because of a lack of the dry sandy open woodland habitat it requires. It is listed as endangered in Kentucky, Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts, and historical in Rhode Island.  In Kentucky it is known primarily from the southern Cumberland Plateau area.  This is a relatively short growing aster reaching heights of two to three feet tall and what is really nice is that the 3/4" wide deep purple flower heads line up on the stem and form beautiful delicate purple wands and when used in conjunction with erect, bicolor, or gray goldenrod en masse, wow a stunning display of purple and yellow that will blow your socks off.  All of these species mentioned are short growing and like well-drained soil on the dry side and somewhat acidic although gray goldenrod is more of a limestone species.  Give them lots of sun and do not fertilize them.  What a treat to have this explosion of color in late September and October.  The most reliable source of Eastern Silvery Aster is Niche Gardens based out of North Carolina.

No comments:

Post a Comment