How to tell the difference between Symphyotrichum and boltonia asteroides

Asked October 4, 2016, 6:39 PM EDT

Hello, we seem to have both Snowbank and a White Aster that grows to 5-6 feet tall in our garden, but is very difficult to tell the difference. Can you please give me some guidance?

Carroll County Maryland

3 Responses

Your best bet is probably to look at stems and leaves to see how hairy or smooth they are. The Symphyotrichum is coarse and hairy:
Boltonia has smooth stems and leaves:


Thank you. This aster is not a New England Aster, it is closer to a Symphyotrichum ericoides, but they grow to about 5 feet. It looks exactly like the Boltonia, but some of the leaves at the base end of the plant MAY be longer. They look almost identical. Any other ideas?

They could be the same plant and were mislabeled in the nursery, a common occurrence.