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For Your Garden - September 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.

hairy white aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum)
Photo © John Hilty

Also known as frost aster, the hairy white aster grows statewide in open areas such as fields, roadsides and pastures as well as in woodlands. It may reach a height of about three and one-half feet. Stems, especially those in the upper parts of the plant, have small hairs. This species blooms from August through November. Clusters of flower heads are produced at the stem tips. There are 15-35 white, ray flowers around a central section of yellow, disk flowers per flower head. The fruit is an achene, a simple dry fruit that does not open at maturity. The achenes have a tuft of white hairs. Many species of pollinators visit the flowers.

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