In Bloom: Maryland Golden-Aster

Maryland Golden Aster. Anne Holmes, artist

Commonly called Maryland golden-aster, Chrysopsis mariana is an upright native perennial that grows on a silky, woolly stem. Because of these stems, the common name is silk grass. Average height is about two feet with an equal spread. The genus name comes from the Greek words chrysos meaning “gold” and opsis meaning “appearance” in reference to the plant’s golden flowers.

This plant prefers sandy, medium-moist, well-drained soils in full sun and can tolerate light shade. Established plants have some drought tolerance. They may reseed in the garden under optimum conditions. Plants bloom over a very long time period from mid-summer through autumn for about 6-8 weeks. The golden yellow fall blooms perfectly complement blue and purple fall asters. This winning combination beckons to a bevy of butterflies and other pollinators.

Choose this aster for a wildlife garden or meadow. Plants can also be used in a pollinator garden. Their showy blooms are appropriate for cottage gardens, deer-resistant plantings, water-wise landscapes, low maintenance gardens, perennial borders and roadside restorations.

The Botanical Gardens, located at 151 W.T. Weaver Boulevard, is a nonprofit organization housing a collection of plants native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated and memberships are encouraged. Learn more at

Upcoming events at the Botanical gardens at Asheville

✿ Naturalist Walk, Sunday, August 20, 9–11:30 a.m. Jay Kranyik, BGA garden manager, will lead this slow ramble through the garden in which we will observe and discuss numerous aspects of our natural history. Botany, scientific names, natural community ecology/ reading the landscape, birds, insects, weather, plant compounds and other interesting facts and subjects will be pondered.

✿ Milkweed, Monarchs & Migration, Saturday, August 26, 10 a.m. to noon. Heather Rayburn, our office administrator and the facilitator of website, will discuss the milkweed’s critical role in sustaining the fragile Monarch butterfly population. She will discuss the Monarch migration and detail what to do when you find a Monarch caterpillar so that you will be able to raise its odds of reaching healthy adulthood. All attendees will get a packet of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) seeds to take home.

Educational programs are $12 for members. $17 for non-members. Participants must pre-register and pre-pay for classes by calling 828.252.5190.

Leave a Comment