Sky Blue Aster. It’s Botanical name is quite a mouthful, Symphyotrichum oolentangiense, and yes we’re fans of its former and much more appealing name Aster azureus. This beauty is a late summer/early fall prolific bloomer with masses of sky blue-lavender flowers on stiff 2-3’ stems that rise above ovate to oblong basal foliage. It is found throughout much of eastern North America in dry, rocky, “edge of the woodland” habitats, but will grow in most garden soils that have good drainage. Plants spread by rhizomatous roots, so expect it to form colonies where it is happy! Like most asters, it is a favorite of many beneficial insects, bees, butterflies and moths.
Combine this aster with Bigelowia nuttallii in the foreground (Rayless goldenrod… a great undiscovered native with clusters of tiny yellow flowers held above evergreen grassy foliage clumps,) and/or any of the taller Goldenrods, such as Solidago ‘Solar Cascade’, and native grasses like Sorghastrum nutans (Indian Grass) and Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Blue Stem).
Oh yes, it likes full sun, and Symphyotrichum oolentangiense is super hardy…it grows in zones 3-8.