Plant of the Moment: Aster Umbellatus
I find myself being drawn more and more to species plants rather than hybrids. A case in point is the Aster umbellatus which resides on in the Daisy Border on the slope. It flowers before the other Asters and daisy type flowers in my garden and is very popular with pollinators.
Aster umbellatus is a North American species. It is also known as Flat Topped Aster. Some US sites say it should grow in moist conditions or on the side of a swamp! Mine grows on a slope albeit it on clay soil, and it is thriving. I planted it two years ago and this year it is easily topping 4ft if not 5ft.
Aster umbellatus is also mildew free definitely a good thing considering the amount of rain we have had this year. I wonder if the species are more resistent and whether all the inter-breeding leads to more suspectability to diseases and pests.
But what I particularly like about this plant is the tiny flowers which on their long stems waft in the wind and have a similar quality to Verbena bonariensis, albeit it a little shorter. I would really recommend this plant, so would the insects.