Back to our native plant recommendations today with a perennial!
The classic New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) provides great masses of purple color in the fall. This plant is native throughout most of the US and Canada, growing in meadows and open areas. New England Asters are easily grown from seed and can reach up to 6' tall in some cases. Growit Buildit recommends staking them or planting amongst bluestem grasses for support. They need full sun and should not get too dry during the heat of summer. They can be divided while dormant every 3-5 years. They are loved by bees and butterflies, and also rabbits and deer. Asters are also a host plant for some butterfly larvae. Check out the great fact page from growitbuildit.com for even more info! Other asters native to South Centra PA are: White wood aster (Eurybia divaricata), White heath aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides), Smooth blue aster (S. laeve var. laeve), Calico aster (S. lateriflorum), Hairy New York aster (S. Novi-belgii), and Aromatic aster (S. oblongifolium).
Sources: "Native Herbaceous Plants of South Central Pennsylvania" - Susan skinder