Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Aster lateriflorus 'Prince' syn Symphyotrichum lateriflorum

Aster lateriflorus 'Prince'
syn Symphotrichum lateriflorum
Black Leaved Calico Aster

This is an Easter Daisy or Michaelmas Daisy which has black foliage and bears masses of tiny plum centred starry white flowers at this time of year. It is a plant I used to grow in the nursery but it is one of those perennials which can look a bit uninteresting in a pot without a flashy pictorial label. The remaining stock plant I stuck in an odd corner and though it is being a bit swamped by a chrysanthemum, it is holding its own and using the sturdy stems of the 'mum' as a support. So many plants "disappear" during summer as they get out competed or over taken by something fast growing. I find some plants looking pale and shrivelled after having spent a couple of months with not enough sun. When I do a big cutback, they usually come back to life with a bit of TLC.
There are some wonderful Easter daisies and they are amongst the most reliable and hardy group of perennials . An elderly friend grows a nice pink one in her seaside garden amongst succulents and a tough old Cordyline
australis. It flowers several times a year and copes with strong salt wind and baking heat from a gravel mulch.
2017 update: I no longer grow it.

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