overlay image

Manitoba Museum

Aster (Asteraceae)

Lindley's Aster

Symphyotrichum ciliolatum (Lindl.) A. & D. Löve

This attractive prairie perennial is widespread across Canada and can be a common species. Its purplish daisy-like flowers attract pollinators such as butterflies, flies, and bees in late summer. The larvae of some butterflies feed on the foliage, while seeds are sometimes eaten by birds. Plants have also been used by Indigenous people for medicinal purposes. Their drought tolerance makes them a good addition to xeriscaped yards.

Flower Colour:

  • Purple

Flowering Season:

  • Summer
  • Fall

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July
  • October
  • September

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “sensitive” in Yukon and Nova Scotia, and “at risk” in Newfoundland/Labrador.

Physical Appearance:

The green or reddish, hairy stems grow 20-100 cm tall. Heart-shaped leaves have pointed tips, winged stalks, hairy undersides, and toothed edges. Lower leaves often senesce before flowering. Flower heads (usually less than 50) occur in an open branching cluster. Each head has 12-25 purple to pale blue ray florets surrounding 12-25 yellow disc florets, and is backed by rows of narrow bracts. Fruits are flat, brown, single-seeded achenes topped by a tuft of bristles.

Similar Species:

Smooth Aster, Western Silvery Aster

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants may be available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland/Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Forest Edges
  • Open Woodlands
  • Prairies
  • River Valleys

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun

Soil Preference:

  • Organic
  • Sand
Lindley's Aster