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.

14 Comments on “Plant of the Moment: Aster Umbellatus

  1. What a beautiful plant Helen. Often species plants are tougher than hybrids and are usually cabable of self seeding which is a bonus. Christina

  2. Yvonne – NZ – Wow – how tall – I bet the butterflies love this flower! I’m off to South America tomorrow – so will wave to you from Rio! Closer the NZ! I will go to the Botanic Gardens etc.!!

  3. That is lovely Helen – I think I will have to add it too my wish list – as you say mildew free is such a plus in the aster family.

    • Hi James – give it a go I think it would look wonderful in your garde, lovely soft muted colours

  4. It is beautiful. I don’t know this plant, and it probably wouldn’t do well here if it needs moist conditions, but it is really pretty in your garden. I bet you are right about species being more resistant than most hybrids, too.

  5. Nice. I have a number of asters, but not this one.The tall, airy habit is unusual for an aster, I think. And I like the white flowers. Reminds me a little of Boltonia.

  6. Will have to look out for this one Helen. I already have the white flowering aster divaricatus but I’m sure that I could find room for another, especially one that attracts flying creatures.

  7. Thank you. I’m so glad to know it’ll grow w.o a wetland. Now the trick is where to buy it. I’m in the US.

    • Hi Rita
      Have a look at the Northern American rock garden society, they might list nurseries

  8. I see these plants growing on roadsides and want to give them a try in my garden. I’m a bit hesitant because they’re rhizomatous. Do have a hard time controlling their spread?

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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