Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Stiff Aster, Bristly Aster, Flaxleaf Whitetop Aster, Pine Starwort
Ionactis linariifolius

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ionactis (eye-OHN-ak-tiss) (Info)
Species: linariifolius (lin-ar-ee-FOH-lee-us) (Info)

Synonym:Aster linariifolius
Synonym:Aster linariifolius var. victorinii

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One member has or wants this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By htop
Thumbnail #1 of Ionactis linariifolius by htop

By poppysue
Thumbnail #2 of Ionactis linariifolius by poppysue


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive htop On Jul 23, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This aster inhabits dry clearings, sandy woods, rocky slopes, rocky stream beds and prairies. A durable plant, it prefers only full sun and it thrives in acidic, sandy soils. It withstands drought as well as seasonal flooding. It usually attains a height between 12 and 24 inches and a width of 6 to 12 inches. It forms stiff, rounded clumps. The dark, shiny leaves resemble small yew leaves or linaria leaves. This explains its species name "linariifolius" which means "leaves like Linaria". The leaves are in whorls that are at right angles to the stem. The pale blue-purple flowerheads are 3/4 to 1 inch across with a disk that starts out yellow and then turns red-orange as the bloom matures. They are produced at the ends of ascending stems and are great cut flowers. To encourage bushiness and more blooms, shear off the top half of the plant in early June.

Because it is a long-blooming, showy, compact aster, it is an excellent choice for the rock garden and native garden. Plus, it attracts butterflies. It looks great massed in groups or used as a border plant. Be sure that the soil in which it is planted is well drained.

Positive bluespiral On Aug 30, 2004, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

DH and I sighted this plant growing wild on a stony, dry bank above the railroad tracks today. Part of the sunny slope it grew on was a steep abandoned dirt road leading to the tracks, the rest was right over boulders.

Smartweed vine romped to the right and left and below, but not on top. It grew in colonies interspersed with sparse grasses, other smaller colonies of possibly Maryland golden aster (Chrysopsis mariana), New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) and a small, ground-hugging, fernleaf Senna (Cassia sp.) It was just beginning to bloom. This little patch emerged from a canopy of oak and hickory.

The intensity of its violet-blue color and its rosemary-like leaves were quite a surprise. We have never seen this plant before in our 30 years of hiking in the area, so hopefully other hikers will also leave it to continue growing in the wild.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sykesville, Maryland
San Antonio, Texas

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