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ASTER alpinus

Image of Aster alpinus

James H. Schutte

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ASTER alpinus

Plant Common Name

Alpine Aster

General Description

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.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-12" / 10.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Alaska, Canada, Europe, Russia/Siberia, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink, Lavender, Blue Violet

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes