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Showy Aster (Western Showy Aster)

Eurybia conspicua

Family:

Aster family - Asteraceae

Showy Aster adds dramatic height and late-season blooms to the garden, offering crucial support to pollinators as they prepare for winter.

Woodland garden

Woodland garden

Rain garden

Rain garden

Pollinator garden

Pollinator garden

Flood tolerant

Flood tolerant

High-value

High-value

Late season star

Late season star

Details

Emerges 

April

Seed collection

Flowers

July, August, September

purple flowers

Purple

Lifecycle

Perennial

Lifespan

Height

60

-

90

cm

Width

-

cm

Habit

Forbs

Upright

Upright

Rhizomatous

Rhizomatous

Spreading

Spreading

Herbaceous

Herbaceous

Ecology

Supports

Supports bees

Bees

Supports butterflies and moths

Butterflies & Moths

Providing

Provides pollen source

Pollen source

Provides nectar source

Nectar source

All asters are important sources of nectar and pollen for late-season and overwintering native bees. 

Habitat

Typically found in

open woods, disturbed areas

Common along the edges of woods, this robust plant is a pioneer that grows readily on disturbed ground in semi-shade.

In the Garden

Growing Conditions

Moisture

Average conditions

Average

Moist conditions

Moist

Light

Full sun

Full sun

Partial sun

Part sun

Partial shade

Part shade

Soil

Average garden soil

Propagation

Via

Seeds

Seeds

Division

Division

Sowing Recommendations

Sow seeds in Fall

Fall planting

Low or difficult germination

Landscape

Use for:

Back of bed placement

Back of bed

Fall colour

Fall colour

Growing Tips

  • A tall, robust plant that looks best at the back of the border or in front of shrubs.      

  • Will spread by rhizomes into a large clump. Divide clumps in early spring to manage spread and rejuvenate older plants. 

  • Prefers moist, well-drained soil but can tolerate drier conditions once established.

  • Like all asters, it has low germination rates, so plant more than you need.

Description

Showy Aster's early growth adds greenery to the garden long before the plant blooms. It becomes a garden highlight in the autumn, blooming with vibrant blue to purple flowers that provide a striking contrast against its lush green foliage.

A larger, versatile aster, it adapts well to a variety of garden settings, from semi-shaded woodland areas to sunny borders.

Like other asters, it attracts a flurry of activity from pollinators, particularly native bumblebees, as they prepare for winter. In fact, young bumblebee queens may tuck in to hibernate amongst the roots.

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