BLUE SKY ASTER Symphyotrichum oolentangiense
The plants are 20 to 150 cm (one to five feet) tall with one to several herbaceous stems. The flowers, produced between August and October, have blue to violet rays.
Symphyotrichum oolentangiense is found in prairies, open woodlands, savannahs and other open habitats. It occurs widely in the midwest and eastern prairies in the United States from Texas to Minnesota, and also extends into Mexico in Coahuila and to Ontario in Canada. The species is endangered in New York.
The flowers attract a wide variety of insect species, including bees, bee flies, butterflies, beetles and others. A wide variety of herbivourous insects also consume the vegetation. The seeds are dispersed by wind. The species is typical of higher quality natural areas, especially those with disturbances such as wildfire.
Seeds per pack: 50
Hardiness zones: 3-8
Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.