Symphyotrichum pilosum (Asteraceae)
Sometimes even we here at Niche, lovers of native plants, overlook a common roadside flower. Not this year for Frost Aster! We've noticed it again this fall, and love it for its extreme toughness in even the poorest of soils, and its pop-up "Surprise!" attributes in the garden, bursting into October bloom. Ken Moore, of NC Botanical Garden fame, is a Frost Aster fan too: "Left to grow, a single plant can reach a height of 5-6', taking the form of a miniature tree, festooned in a canopy of tiny pure white daisies." The late-season pollinators adore this feast too, and the masses of white blooms are a nice contrast to all the yellows and purples of fall.
Bloom color: white
Bloom period: fall
Container size: Qt.