White heath aster on wildlife refuges

Published 6:29 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

White heath aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum) is a late-blooming native wildflower that is in flower on roadsides and open fields throughout northeastern North Carolina. The plants are common sights on Alligator River, Pocosin Lakes and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuges. This aster has small flowers, but this late in the growing season, those small flowers are welcome sights to bees and butterflies looking for food. The flowers mature into fluffy seeds that songbirds pick from the plants throughout the winter.