aromatic aster ‘October Skies’

Aromatic aster ‘October Skies’ (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies‘)  grows up to 2 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide, and has a low-, shrub-like growth habit that makes the selection a terrific option for mass planting impact. Plants flower from September/October through to the first hard frost, producing dark, sky-blue daisy-like flowers with yellow centers up to 1.5 in. in diameter. Leaves of this aster are fragrant when crushed. 

Some may know that plant taxonomists have segregated the large Asteraceae family into new and different genera. As a result, Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’ is most accurately now recognized as Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies’.

Flowers attract native bees, honeybees, and bumble bees, serving as a good source of bee forage late into the fall/early winter season. The species, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, is native to North America east of the Rocky Mountains. S. ‘October Skies‘ is a lower-growing selection of S. ‘Raydon’s Favorite’, which itself is a selection of the species.

Botanical Name Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘October Skies’
Common Name aromatic aster ‘October Skies’
Family Asteraceae
USDA Zone 4 thru 8
Light Requirement Full Sun
Season(s) of interest summer, fall
Height and Spread 1.5-2ft x 1.5-2ft (45-60cm x 45-60cm)
Flower Color Blue, Purple
Attracts Wildlife Provides Food for Birds, Hosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths, Attracts Pollinators, Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores
Additional Information Cultivated Form of a Native Plant.
Location in Lurie Garden North Dark Plate, Southwest Dark Plate, East Dark Plate​

Average Flowering Time