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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden


September EcoQuest


Know your New England Aster

These purple fall blooms attract many different pollinators including bees and butterflies. New England aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, has hairy leaves that clasp rough stems reaching 4 to 6 feet tall. 

Bright purple flowers with orange-yellow centers are clustered at the ends of branches. Occurring throughout Illinois, this plant prefers prairies and open areas along rivers and lakes. 

Help Budburst find this important Chicagoland native plant!

Slashing Silver Grass

Silver grass, Miscanthus sinensis, may also be called Maiden grass. It consists of long arching branches and slender, sharp-tipped leaves that spread or droop. 

Blooming in the fall, its feather-like flowers range from silver to pink. This plant's fast growth, popularity as an ornamental, and ability to grow in disturbed areas make it a serious threat to native species.

Help Budburst find this invasive so that it can be better controlled!

How to observe and report


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