Symphyotrichum depauperatum

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry

Soil Description: neutral, poor, clay, gravel/rock

Height: 12"-16"

Bloom Time: August, September, October

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 6, 7

Additional Tags: rare, rock garden plant

Symphyotrichum depauperatum (serpentine aster)
  • Symphyotrichum depauperatum (serpentine aster)

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Symphyotrichum depauperatum

Also known as:

serpentine aster


starved aster

Scientific Synonyms:

Aster depauperatus, Aster ericoides var. pusillus, Aster pilosus var. pusillus


Symphyotrichum depauperatum is a clump forming aster with smooth, branched, often arching, wiry flowering stems that grow to a height of 16". The leaves are alternate, oblong, and about 1 1/2" long. The flowers are small, daisy-like with white rays and a yellow disk, and form open clusters along the branches and stems.


Serpentine aster is very rare, with a native range limited to the eastern serpentine barrens. It is well adapted to poor, rocky soil, and full sun. It is drought-tolerant and a good choice for use in a rock garden or dry, sunny border. The bloom period lasts about 2 months, from late summer to mid fall. Zones 6-7


Propagate by seed.

Additional Notes

Loss of habitat is threatening this already rare species. It is a very tough and resilient plant that is worthy of more attention.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: MD
  • Threatened: PA


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 Symphyotrichum aster
Species Symphyotrichum depauperatum serpentine aster