Keystone Value: The genus Aster (Aster) supports over 90 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars, providing food for a variety of birds and mammals.
White Wood Aster (Aster divaricatus) is a mounding perennial that grows naturally in dry, open woodlands. It can reach a height of 2.5 to 3 feet, but shearing it to 6 inches in early summer will result in a more compact plant. White Wood Aster has showy white flowers with yellow centers that bloom in clusters above heart-shaped leaves (hence another common name, White Heart-Leaved Aster). The prolific blooms attract native pollinators, and the seeds are an important winter food source for birds and small mammals. White Wood Aster is a larval host for the Pearl Crescent butterfly (shown above), among others.