MACHAERANTHERA tanacetifolia (Prairie Aster) is a perennial flowering plant native to the prairies and grasslands of North America. Prairie Aster is a herbaceous perennial, meaning it lives for multiple years. It belongs to the Asteraceae family, which includes daisies and asters.
Prairie Aster forms a clump of slender, upright stems that can reach heights of 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm). The plant produces finely divided, fern-like leaves that are gray-green in color. The leaves have a feathery appearance and are reminiscent of the leaves of the tansy plant, hence the specific epithet "tanacetifolia." The flowers are daisy-like with numerous slender, lavender to purple petals surrounding a yellow center. The blooms are about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter and are borne at the tips of the stems.
Prairie Aster typically blooms in late summer to fall, generally between August and October. The blooming period may vary depending on the local climate and growing conditions. The flower attracts pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, with its nectar-rich blooms.
Prairie Aster thrives in full sun and can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including well-draining sandy or loamy soils. It is adapted to prairie and grassland environments and can tolerate dry conditions. It is relatively drought-tolerant once established.
Prairie Aster is valued for its delicate and showy flowers, which make it a great addition to prairie gardens, wildflower meadows, and naturalized landscapes. It adds color and texture to perennial borders and can be used as a cut flower in floral arrangements.
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Scientific Name: Machaeranthera Tanacetifolia
Common Name: Prairie Aster
Plant Type: Perennial
Family: Asteraceae or Daisy Family
Native Range: Central and Western North America
Height: 12-18 "
Spread: 8 " wide
Habitat: Dry-mesic Prairies and Savannas
Zone: USDA Hardiness 3-10
Exposure: Full Sun/Half Shade
Blooming Season: Late Spring to Fall
Attracts: Butterflies, Birds Bees
Resistant: Deer Resistant
Flower Color: Bright Blue-purple or lavender with yellow center
Water Requirement: Low water requirement
Soil Type: Moist but well-drained
Soil pH: 5.1-6.5 pH
Uses: Hopi (Gynecological Aid), Decoction of plant as strong stimulant, Gastrointestinal Aid