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ASTER amellus

Image of Aster amellus

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ASTER amellus

Plant Common Name

Italian Aster

General Description

This southeastern European native produces lots of cool blue daisies from late summer to fall. Though technically a perennial subshrub, it is often short-lived, so it is best planted as a seasonal annual. Natural populations extend across the Caucasus Mountains and down to Armenia and exist in open, rocky ground.

The tidy plants form clumps of lance-shaped or oval leaves that may be medium to gray-green. The foliage is markedly mildew resistant. Branched clusters of colorful daisies appear late in the season. These are typically lavender, violet-blue or pinkish. Bees and butterflies pollinate the flowers. The seedheads turn brown when fully mature.

Full sun and sharply drained soil are needed for best blooming and performance. This species will even tolerate poorer soil types, though it will develop a fuller habit in more fertile soil. Plant Italian aster in rock gardens, pretty fall borders and butterfly gardens.

The more robust and long-lived perennial aster, Aster x frikartii, is a cross between A. amellus and A. thomsonii.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Mediterranean, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes