White Heath Aster, aster pilosus, frost aster, awl aster, hairy aster, white old-field aster
Description: herbaceous perennial
Place of origin: eastern and central North America
Urban habitat: commonly found in urban meadows, vacant lots, rubble dumps, gravel, pavement openings, in compacted soil, along highway banks and railroad tracks.
Ecological function: erosion control on slopes, tolerant of road salt and high pH soils; food and habitat for wildlife.
History: Symphyotrichum pilosum is a highly adaptable native species that tolerates the stressful conditions found in urban environments and is often considered to be weedy. Its common name frost aster comes from its hairy leaves and stems which can look like frost when backlit.