This aster is more attractive in woodland areas, where it has a delicate appearance. It closely resembles such asters as Aster pilosus (Frost Aster), Aster ericoides (Heath Aster), and other species in the genus with small white flowers. The Calico Aster is a somewhat lanky plant with smaller compound flowers (about 1/3' across) and fewer ray florets per compound flower (about 10). In this regard, it is similar to the Heath Aster, but the latter species is a more compact plant with leaves that are shorter and more narrow than the Calico Aster. While the Heath Aster is often found in open prairies, the Calico Aster usually doesn't stray far from woodland and semi-shaded wetland areas. The common name refers to the diverse colors of the disk florets as they mature.