Symphyotrichum praealtum, Willowleaf Aster
The Cherokee tribe was reported to make a poultice from the roots for general pain. The Cherokee and Iroquois tribes were reported to take root infusions for fevers. The Iroquois tribe was reported to use the plant in their love medicines.
Like Symphyotrichum ericoides (White Heath Aster) and others in the genus, Symphyotrichum praealtum isn’t the most strikingly attractive wildflower. However, when it blooms in late summer/early fall, pollinators from bees to wasps love it! Looking for other crucially important late season bloomers? Checkout Eupatorium (Boneset), Solidago/Oligoneuron (Goldenrods) and Helianthus (Sunflowers).