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For Your Garden - November 2022

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

stiff aster (Oligoneuron album)
Photo © John Hilty

Stiff aster, also known as white goldenrod, prairie goldenrod and several other names is a perennial herb. It looks like an aster, and was once classified as an aster, but it is a goldenrod. Its leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. The leaves are simple, entire or toothed and linear or lance‐shaped. White flowers are arranged in heads. Flowers contain both ray and disk flowers. The one‐seeded fruit, an achene, is dry and hard. This plant may attain a height of one to two feet. Stiff aster may be found in the northern one‐half of Illinois. It grows in dry prairies and sandy soil. Flowers are produced from August through September. Insects are the main agent of pollination.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae

Illinois Status: common, native