University of Vermont Extension System
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial of the Month - September 1998

Aster novae-angliae 'Alma Potschke'

(ass' ter no' va an' glee')

Common name: Aster, varies with species

Family: Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 4-6' high x 3' wide

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: alternate, 4-5" long, broad linear or lanceolate, may clasp stem, surfaces may be slightly pubescent

Flowers: 2" wide bright rose daisy-like flowers, fall

Hardiness: zones 3-8

Soil: well-drained

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: rusts, powdery and downy mildews, leaf spots, aster wilt (Verticillium), chrysanthemum lacebugs, mites, aphids, Japanese beetles, chewing of taller species by mammals

Landscape habit, uses: borders, lower cultivars massed, containers, natural areas, very attractive and one of few late-season plants for bees and butterflies

Other interest: many species native to N. America; from the Greek aster meaning star, refering to the flower appearance; some species such as the yellow linocyris and common asters have been put by some taxonomists in new genera Linocyris and Lasallea, however these changes have not been generally accepted; not to be confused with the annual China Aster, Callistephus; a large genus much worked on by taxonomists, with much breeding of new cultivars especially in middle of this century in England and Germany

Other culture: tall species need staking; many of the low asters such as New York types may need dividing every 2-3 years to maintain vigor; some cultivars, especially new introductions, are grown as a pinched pot crop similar to fall mums

Propagation: seed (18,000 seeds per ounce), division, root or stem cuttings

Sources: many; as always, check with your local garden center or perennial nursery


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