The frost aster, or Aster pilosus, is a native perennial plant in the Bluegrass Region. It can grow up to 3½’ tall. An individual stem has few branches and are spindly, but mature plants often send up multiple stems that create a shrubby appearance. The stems are initially green with lines of small white hairs, but they often turn brown and become bare of leaves with age. The tiny white hairs on the leaves provide a frost-like appearance.
The flowering stems are long with needle-like leaves, and they are held up or horizontal to the ground. The daisy-like compound flowers are yellow, later becoming reddish, which are surrounded by ray florets that are white, rarely light pink or purple. This aster has no noticeable floral scent. The seeds have small tufts of white or brownish hairs, which are distributed by the wind, and the root system is initially fibrous.
Frost asters grow best in full sun and dry conditions; they are very drought tolerant. This plant can thrive in loam, clay, or gravelly material. The Frost Aster is easy to grow, but can spread aggressively by re-seeding itself. Because of the long multiple stems, the flowers appear to be floating in the air.