Narrowleaf silkgrass isn’t a grass at all; it is actually one of Florida’s native aster relatives - it is also known as grass-leaved golden-aster. As the name silkgrass suggests, it has grass-like leaves that are covered in silvery, silk-like hairs. The petite, bright yellow flower heads are, like daisies and asters, composite, meaning that they are comprised of hundreds of tiny flowers. There are clusters of up to 30 flower heads gathered on a single branch. A mature plant will grows to about 2-3 feet, and will spread to form dense colonies. This herbaceous perennial has a native range reaching from south Florida all the way to Delaware and Ohio, and typically grows in the sandy soils of pinelands and open prairies. Once established, narrowleaf silkgrass is impressively drought-tolerant, making it a great addition to a low maintenance landscape. While this plant is flowers mostly in the autumn the beautiful, silvery grey, spring leaves make it a year-round must-have for wildflower enthusiasts.
-Author: Emily Wilson, Natural Areas Gardener, Naples Botanical Garden.
Originally published in the News-Press.