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Manitoba Museum

Aster (Asteraceae)

Hairy Golden Aster

Heterotheca villosa var. villosa (Pursh) Shin.

The yellow, daisy-like flowers of this common prairie perennial are non-fragrant, and attract butterflies, bees, and flies in late summer. They are often visible as showy displays in dry places, where plants tend to be plentiful. They may be invasive, and reproduce by self-seeding when grown in cultivation.

Flower Colour:

  • Yellow

Flowering Season:

  • Summer
  • Fall

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July
  • October
  • September

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “may be at risk” in Ontario.

Physical Appearance:

Branched stems grow 10-50 cm tall, are erect or trailing with vertical tips, and have 2-3 types of hairs. Leaves are alternate, narrow, spoon-shaped, and hairy. Yellow flowering heads (1-25) occur on hairy stalks at the stem tops, and are backed by a whorl of bracts. Each one has 10-38 ray florets surrounding 10-85 disc florets. Fruits are egg-shaped, hairy achenes, topped by scale and hair-like bristles.

Similar Species:

Colorado Rubberweed (Hymenoxys richardsonii (Hook.) Cock., Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal), Narrow-leaved Stenotus (Stenotus armerioides Nutt.)

Gardening Notes:

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

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Forests
  • Prairies
  • Railways
  • Roadsides
  • Streambanks

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun

Soil Preference:

  • Loam
  • Sand
  • Silt
Hairy Golden Aster