James H. Schutte
Plant Common Name
Unlike many aster species, the delicate, pastel daisies of alpine aster bloom in late spring and summer. This unusually cold tolerant perennial is native across the far reaches of Canada, Alaska and Eurasia. Wild populations grow along montane river valleys, mountain slopes, tundra and rocky coasts. Some garden-worthy cultivated varieties have been bred, which are all considerably tough and well-adapted to cold climates and rocky terrain. Habit varies, some are prostrate and others bushy and mounded.
The small, oval leaves of alpine aster are green to gray-green. Lots of pretty daisies with fine petals appear in late spring or summer. Flower color varies but is generally in soft shades of violet-blue, pink, lavender or white. Bees are the key pollinators but butterflies also visit the blooms. Fluffy, white seedheads are produced in mid to late-summer.
Full to partial sun and sharply drained soil are essential for this carefree alpine. It will not tolerate hot or humid temperatures, so it's best reserved for northern gardens. Late in the season it may develop powdery mildew or rust. Place this early season beauty in rock, trough or alpine gardens. Alpine aster gently self-sows.
AHS Heat Zone
7 - 1
Full Sun, Partial Sun
4"-12" / 10.2cm - 30.5cm
12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Alaska, Canada, Europe, Russia/Siberia, Asia
Sharp or Has Thorns