Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (Fall Aster 'October Skies')
If you are creating a wildlife habitat and care about bees, planting a fall aster is a must. This tough perennial may be easily overlooked until the fall when it provides an explosion of bright purple blooms. It is truly a showstopper then. It is adaptable and not fussy about soil, and looks best planted in groupings or surrounded by other perennials. Providing autumn pollen and nectar for bees as well as butterflies, fall aster is a valuable addition to any pollinator garden.
‘October Skies’ cultivar is reportedly bushier than the species, more compact and less prone to spreading. Plants do not come true from seed.
AT A GLANCE
|Sun exposure||Sun to part shade|
|Mature height||1.5-2 ft|
|Mature spread||1.5-2 ft|
|Attracts||Birds, butterflies, bees|
|Notes||Native bee friendly. Attracts beneficial insects.|