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Eurybia macrophylla

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: rich, loam, clay, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 2'-4'

Bloom Time: August, September, October

Bloom Color: white, lavender

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: attracts butterflies, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, shade garden plant

Eurybia macrophyllam (bigleaf aster)
  • Eurybia macrophyllam (bigleaf aster)
  • Eurybia macrophyllam (bigleaf aster)
  • Eurybia macrophyllam (bigleaf aster)

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Description

Eurybia macrophylla

Also known as:

bigleaf aster

,

large-leaf wood-aster

,

large-leaved aster

,

big-leaved aster

Scientific Synonyms:

Aster ianthinus, Aster macrophyllus, Aster macrophyllus var. apricensis, Aster macrophyllus var. excelsior, Aster macrophyllus var. ianthinus, Aster macrophyllus var. pinguifolius, Aster macrophyllus var. sejunctus, Aster macrophyllus var. velutinus, Aster multiformis, Aster nobilis, Aster riciniatus, Aster roscidus, Aster violaris

Description

Eurybia macrophylla is a woodland aster with very large leaves, as implied by its specific epithet and common name. The basal rosettes are comprised of heart-shaped leaves, with serrated edges, that are up to 8" long and 6" wide. They form a dense ground cover through early summer, at which time they begin to wither away as the flowering stalks begin to emerge. These are unbranched, up to 4" tall, with sparse heart-shaped leaves that become progressively smaller and more oval as they move up the stem. The flowers are borne in open clusters, are up to 1 1/2 inches across, and consist of pale whitish-lavender rays surrounding a yellow disk that turns deep orange, then red to brown with age. The seeds are attached to hairy tufts, and are carried by the wind.

Cultivation

Bigleaf aster grows under the mesic conditions found in deciduous forests. It requires moisture in the beginning of the growing season, but is adapted to the dry summer environment typical of the understory. It will tolerate rocky, sandy, or clay soil, so long as it is rich in organic matter. Flower production is best in open shade or dappled sunlight. The root system is fibrous with rhizomes. It vegetatively form colonies, but does not spread aggressively. The blooming period lasts about 1 1/2 months, during late summer and early fall. Zones 3-7

Propagation

Sow immediately outdoor. Stored seeds will require cold stratification. can also be propagated from cuttings, but the easiest is to divide clumps early in the growing season.

Additional Notes

The large, bold basal foliage is this species's defining characteristic, and once it has withered, it can be difficult to distinguish this species from other woodland asters.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: IA
  • Special Concern: RI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae Aster family
Genus Eurybia aster
Species Eurybia macrophylla bigleaf aster