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Climbing aster
Symphyotrichum carolinianum

Copyright by: Chuck McCartney

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also uselful in wet spots where it can climb into trees.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A relatively common vine in freshwater swamps.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Climbing or sprawling vine or shrub-like wildflower.

Dimensions: N/A; a vine with stem to 10 feet or more in length.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Southeastern United States south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Swamps and wet thickets.

Soils: Wet to moist, moderately well-drained to poorly-drained organic or sandy soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Lavender to bluish ray flowers.

Flower Characteristics: Showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak in fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous achene.

Wildlife and Ecology: Nectar plant for monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed obtained from dried flower heads, which are broken up. Seeds can be planted or sprinkled onto the soil. Keep moist.

Comments: A beautiful if unorthodox component of the garden; it can be trimmed back heavily to keep the plant in control. Horticultural synonyms: Aster carolinianus.

Copyright by: Chuck McCartney

Copyright by: Steven W. Woodmansee

Copyright by: Chuck McCartney

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Steven W. Woodmansee

Other data on Symphyotrichum carolinianum available from:

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