Pictured above: Simmond’s aster (Symphyotrichum simmondsii) by Emily Bell. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.
Simmond’s aster (Symphyotrichum simmondsii) is endemic to the Southeast coastal plain and while recorded from the Carolinas to Alabama, it is most prevalent throughout peninsular Florida. Occupying various habitats from moist to dry, it forms colonies via long underground rhizomes and typically blooms from October through January.
Small flowers are composed of 18–38 pale lavender to lilac rayflorets and 24–37 disk florets that turn reddish with maturity. Leaves are oblanceolate, scabrous and arranged alternately. Stems are rigid and range from sparsely scabrellous to glabrous. (Click here for a detailed botanical description)
Family: Asteraceae (Aster, composite or daisy family)
Native range: Throughout the state
To see where natural populations of Simmond’s aster have been vouchered, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Hardiness zone: Zones 8B–10B
Soil: Moist to dry calcareous soils
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Growth habit: Herbaceous, up to 4 feet
Simmond’s aster is not commercially available. Visit a natural area to see it.
For more information on other Symphyotrichum species, see these resources:
- Aster (from 20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers)
- Scaleleaf aster (Symphyotrichum adnatum)
- Climbing aster (Symphyotrichum carolinianum)
- Eastern silver aster (Symphyotrichum concolor)
- Rice button aster (Symphyotrichum dumosum)
- Elliott’s aster (Symphyotrichum elliottii)
- Georgia aster (Symphyotrichum georgianum)
- Perennial saltmarsh aster (Symphyotrichum tenuifolium)
- Walter’s aster (Symphyotrichum walterii)