With Symphyotrichum puniceum, formerly Aster puniceus, the common names purplestem aster and swamp aster do a good job telling you something about the plant. The hairy stems, which usually reach 3 to 5 (maybe even 6) feet tall, are indeed reddish purple, and the plants do tend to grow best in moist to wet soil. Another key feature of this species is its lavender-purple flowers, which bloom in fall, in time to make a lovely complement to goldenrods (Solidago) and to provide a late source of pollen and nectar for butterflies, bees, and other insects. (In leaf, it is a host plant for several species of butterflies and moths.) Purplestem aster can be a good choice for a rain garden, a pollinator planting, or a sunny, wet meadow. The species is native to much of eastern and central North America; these seeds are from wild plants growing in my meadow in Bucks County, PA. Full sun. Perennial; Zones 3 to 8.
2022-collected seeds are sold out. I hope to collect again in early November 2023. At least 20 seeds. PA ecotype.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.