Symphyotrichum oblongifolium 'Raydon's Favorite' (Fragrant Aster)
The fragrant asters are about as tough as they come. Locally native, it can be found growing out of rocky crevices in gravel and clay. Forms a dense mound of fine textured foliage about 2' tall and 3' wide. Leaves have a minty aroma when crushed. Lavender/blue flowers cover every inch of the plant in fall. While this is a dense grower and really doesn't need pinching, one pinch back in May makes it even more dense and compact. 'Raydon's Favorite' was first sold by local plantsman Allen Bush when he had his nursery in North Carolina. The plant was shared to him by Raydon Alexander who found it growing near Lookout Mountain in Tennessee.