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Oclemena acuminata

whorled wood aster add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam

Height: 1'-2'

Bloom Time: July, August, September

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7

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

Oclemena acuminata (whorled wood aster)
  • Oclemena acuminata (whorled wood aster)
  • Oclemena acuminata (whorled wood aster)
  • Oclemena acuminata (whorled wood aster)

Pricing & Availability


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Oclemena acuminata

Also known as:

whorled wood aster


mountain aster


sharp-leaved aster


sharp-toothed nodding aster

Scientific Synonyms:

Aster acuminatus, Aster acuminatus var. magdalenensis


Oclemena acuminata is a low-growing woodland aster that typically reaches a height of 1'. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped, toothed, and up to 6" long. The common name "whorled wood aster" is a misnomer, because the leaves are alternate and densely scattered along the stem, and only appear to be whorled when seen from above. The flowers appear in loose terminal clusters, are up to 1 1/2" across, with whitish to very pale purple rays, and reddish disks.


This is an eastern woodland species that prefers cooler climates or the higher elevations of the Appalachians in the south. It tolerates full to part-shade, and does best in rich, acidic soil that is moist to dry. It will slowly form colonies by rhizomes, and is not aggressive. It is best planted in large groups, where the dense large leaves will create a visually striking mass. It is an early blooming aster. Depending on location, the blooming period may begin as early as mid-summer, and typically extends for about a month. Zones 4-7


Propagate by seed or division.

Additional Notes

The striking large foliage of this aster, and its tolerance of shade, make it an excellent choice for woodland gardens. It is underutilized, rarely available for sale, and certainly worthy of more attention.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Presumed Extirpated: OH
  • Threatened: KY


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 Oclemena aster
Species Oclemena acuminata whorled wood aster