Aromatic Aster

Blue-purple asters anchored in a sea of red maple leaves: a classic scene of autumn beauty.

Which aster do you choose for your garden’s big fall finish? The aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) has the good traits typical of its genus—tough, drought-tolerant, long-blooming—but it’s relatively short (only 1 to 3 feet), making it less likely to flop.

The tiny blue-purple blossoms attract butterflies, and the flowers and leaves are fragrant when rubbed. Aromatic aster thrives in medium to dry soil in full sun.

Use it in rock gardens, prairie gardens, or in the front of the fall border. Zones 3 to 8.