My Top Ten Michaelmas Daisies, (or if you insist Symphiotrichum).

We are having such glorious September weather that it is a joy to be outside and the flowers just keep on coming. This is the month that Michaelmas daisies, sorry Symphyiotrichum really get going, and they are going to brighten up our gardens right through October.
I would like to introduce my top ten Asters.
IMG_1457 I love small flowered ones and my favourite is ‘Little Carlow’. It is a hybrid with nova-belgii and cordifolius parents.It  has masses of little lilac blue flowers with a lovely dark centres. I grow it with Persicaria amplexicaulis  ‘Blackfield’.

A close second is Aster cordifolius ‘Ideal’,  this has a profusion of even smaller lavender flowers. It is very similar to Aster ‘Photograph’ which I showed you in a recent post.
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Aster laterifolius horizontalis ‘Lady in Black’ has even smaller flowers. It is very similar to ‘Prince’. It has lovely dark foliage and little white flowers with pink centres.
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I have recently bought another Aster with really dark foliage called   ‘Glow in the dark’,  but I won’t include it in my top ten  because it is not in flower yet.
Obviously Aster frikartii ‘Monch’ has to come in the top ten because its lovely, large blooms with yellow centres flower for so long. They start in July and are still looking good now. Behind the one in my picture is Aster pilosus var. pringlei ‘Monte Cassino’. This  has feathery foliage and white flowers with yellow centres which are not out yet but they won’t be long now. They last for ages.
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At number six, although I love it so much, it should be at number one,  along with ‘Little Harlow’ we have ‘Le Vasterival’. It is a very elegant, tall growing Aster with dark, plummy coloured stems. The flowers are delicate shade of not-quite- pink, difficult to describe but very pretty.
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I don’t grow any Aster novi- belgii because they tend to suffer from mildew. Aster novae-angliae are much healthier. I love the deep, rich colour of the stems and flowers of ‘Rougham Purple’ which was bred in Suffolk.
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Asters in dark rich shades are so beautiful and I have Aster novae-angliae ‘Marina Wolkonsky’ in deepest violet.
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I showed you ‘Harrington’s Pink’ recently but this does not come in my top ten because the colour is a bit wishy-washy. I much prefer the deep rose-pink of ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’.
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Another lovely, rich colour is ‘Septemberrubin’. Again I don’t know what you would call it, purple -red perhaps or even magenta.
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That seems to be ten but I have a couple more I just have to mention. I didn’t realise how many asters I had until I started this post.  I can’t miss out beautiful Aster amellus ‘King George’. I believe it is quite an old one but it is so reliable and always full of bees.
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I’ll finish with a lovely one with beautiful, red- coloured leaves in Autumn. It is Aster ‘Primrose Path’.
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I should perhaps have mentioned ‘Purple Dome’ because it is a lovely colour and such a neat shape for the front of the border. I wrote about it on in earlier post though.

So that is my selection of Asters. I was going to join in with ThePatientgardener’s End of the Month View meme this month but I got side -tracked by my asters.  Incidentally, all of these asters are very healthy with no trace of mildew.

I would love it if you would tell me which asters you are enjoying at the moment. I shouldn’t really add to my collection but if you have a really gorgeous one please tell us about it. Maybe I have room for just one more.

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60 Responses to My Top Ten Michaelmas Daisies, (or if you insist Symphiotrichum).

  1. Benjamin says:

    Amazing! I love Michaelmas daisies and would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite out of all those lovelies. The Andenken an Alma Potschke were especially striking. Well done, you! Cheers, Ben

  2. Tina says:

    Goodness, they’re all so beautiful. That Marina Wolkonsky-wow! That’s a real beauty. My little native Texas asters (Symphyotrichum oblongiolium) haven’t yet started blooming–though it should happen soon.

    • Chloris says:

      Marina Wolkonosky is gorgeous even if she has an impossible name.
      Your native Aster is so pretty. The only native one here is the Sea Aster which grows in the marshes.

  3. Jane Strong says:

    So, so beautiful, Chloris. My favorite fall flower, which alas i cannot grow. Not enough cold or not enough wet. I don’t know which. But wait! Is that a guara I see in the background? I can grow the selection ‘Siskiyou Pink’, It’s monstrous; but not the white. I wonder now if I planted the asters with the guara they would take the hint and grow? My favorite is ‘Lady in Black’ which i had one year, local name was “September weed”. Perfect. Thanks a bunch for showing us your favorites.

    • Chloris says:

      What a shame that you cannot grow them. It is true that they don’ t like to dry out. Yes that is a Gaura, they flower for weeks on end and are so easy from cuttings.

  4. As a lover of asters, I loved this post! You have many beautiful varieties that I do not grow. I have mostly the straight species, except for ‘Purple Dome’. The straight S. lateriflorus has tiny flowers, but in clouds that draw swarms of bees. I think of the centers as more maroon than pink. I love the ‘Marina Wolkonsky’.

    • Chloris says:

      S. Laterifolius is gorgeous. Yes maroon is a better description for the centres. It is sometimes hard to come up with just the right word when describing flower colours.

  5. Wow, you have quite a collection of Asters. I don’t have many–I added ‘Vibrant Dome’ last fall, and it’s thriving so it must like its spot. It’s taking a long time to fully bloom, though. Maybe when it gets more sun as the leaves drop overhead. I also have a section of the “False Asters”–Boltonia Asteroides. I added them in early summer, though, so they’re still getting their legs. Nice post!

  6. Alison says:

    That is quite a lot of Asters. I have two tiny-flowered ones that I am actually going to try passing on top a friend. I’ve realized recently that I prefer the larger flowers. I have one that I got from a friend, that I think is Aster x frikartii ‘Monch.’ I love that one.

  7. Cathy says:

    You’ve got so many lovely ones Chloris! The deep violet Marina Wolkonsky is very pretty, and Little Carlow and Le Vasterival too. The dark foliage and white flowers of Lady in Black are very effective. They are all beautiful! I have Alma too, a violet one as yet unidentified, and a small pale mauve Aster pyrenaeus ‘Lutetia’, which isn’t very tall, tending to overhang, and grows rather nicely in the rockery.

  8. Annette says:

    Beautiful, my favourites are Ideal and horizontalis. Fell in love with the latter recently. It’s so beautiful, even long before it starts to flower with its glowing foliage in waves. I also grow Aster pansus Snowflurry and love it dearly. It’s so sweet and charming, impossible to resist.

  9. jenhumm116 says:

    Wow Chloris, what a wonderful collection – and so informative as ever. I really must add some more to my garden, they’re such good ‘doers’ at this time of year.

  10. AnnetteM says:

    I have only two dwarf aster plants called ‘Jenny’. They are very pretty and wouldn’t take up much space if you wanted to squeeze them in.They are also mildew free despite it being a real problem in my garden this year. However after seeing your post I am determined to get some larger ones. I was put off them in the past by the powdery mildew, but you have now given me a lot to choose from. I like Marina Wolkonsky the best, though hard to choose.

  11. Chloris says:

    Jenny is pretty, such a luminous colour. I have always avoided it because it is a novae- belgii and I thought it might be susceptible to mildew. Interesting that it does not have this problem in your garden.

  12. Debra says:

    Wow. Your collection of flowers never ceases to amaze me. ALL your asters are beautiful. I especially like the Michaelmas daisies. I keep seeing a tiny tiny aster on long weedy stems growing in wild places. I don’t know what it is called but when I zoom in with the camera it is a really pretty little thing. I like it right now because it volunteered to grow in an area of our property that has a really steep slope that needs erosion control. Someday I will correct the grade but in the meanwhile I appreciate the help it is giving.

  13. pbmgarden says:

    Beautiful countdown! The color of ‘Marina Wolkonsky’ is outstanding and I also really like that pairing of ‘Little Carlow’ with ‘Blackfield’. I have only one aster that I’m constantly battling. Someone local recently helped me identify it as native Symphyotrichum pilosum (frost aster). Because it’s spread so aggressively I’ve been reluctant to add any other asters. Yours look so tidy–mine looks weedy. I need to investigate asters and maybe can find some that would work here in my small garden.

    • Chloris says:

      They probably grow so well for you because they are native to the States. The only native one we have here is the little Sea Aster which grows in the marshes.
      Some of mine do seed around if I let them and they would soon take over that way but I am quite ruthless with seedlings. They are never as good as their parents.

  14. Christina says:

    Firstly, the email came with this post! I’ve tried so many times before and it hasn’t works but I seem to have done everything correctly this time (I only had to click a link so you’d think it would have worked before!). You have some wonderful Asters (I’m sticking to that name for now) as to my favourites, you already have them so you won’t have to spend any money – A. Monte Cassino’ I love even in bud, so light and airy and A. ‘the Prince which I have planted as a mini hedge between the vegetable garden and the triangular rose bed, the idea came from Great Dixter of course; this is the first year it has actually looked like a hedge and it is full of bees and flowers at the moment so I’m thrilled. I could easily be tempted by any that you showed, they are all lovely.

    • Chloris says:

      I’ m glad you are receiving my posts now. I have this trouble from time to time and I have to refollow someone because their posts stop showing up in my reader. I see this is what you did.
      I noticed that you have Monte Casino, it is so beautiful.
      Let me know when you get the little parcel I have sent you.

      • Christina says:

        I’ll check the post box, I don’t often have parcels or even letters sent to this address as the post is spasmodic to say the least. I do hope it arrives, I am intrigued.

  15. Flighty says:

    I like Michaelmas daisies so really enjoyed this post and the lovely photos. I have three on the plot – two novi-belgii one of which is ‘Lady in Blue’, and the pringlei ‘Monte Cassino’ which I call ‘Twinkling Stars’ and is my favourite. They generally all do well, don’t suffer from mildew and bees like them. If I had a garden I’m sure that I’d grow a few more varieties. xx

  16. Robbie says:

    I missed this post!!!! I am the aster queen in my neighborhood..they are filled with bees…I LOVE your photos of the aster! I just plugged in some purple dome this spring:-) Can’t get enough asters but I have to admit I have a lot for my city lot + I would have more if I had more space! great post:-) I am on “aster withdrawl” now that I have too many-lol but you know a girl can’t have enough asters!

    • Chloris says:

      I bet you are the Aster Queen, Robbie as they are such a favourite with bees and as long as your bees are happy so are you. You are quite right, a girl can never have too many asters, they brighten up the Autumn .

  17. Anna says:

    An excellent post Chloris celebrating asters. Oh you have my favourite ‘Little Carlow’ and I’ve just added a couple more to my wish list after reading this post. I came home with ‘King George’ recently after a trip to a nursery in Cumbria where the owner had a vase of these in flower on the sales counter. I immediately sent himself to find the plant. I’m also very fond of aster divaricatus even though it’s rather floppy.

    • Chloris says:

      Little Carlow is absolutely stunning and King George is always so full of flowers. I like Aster divaricatus too although I’ m having trouble with its new name. Having just learnt Symphiotrichum, I now find that Aster divaricatus is something quite different. It is Eurybia divaricata. Oh dear.

  18. snowbird says:

    How lovely they all are and they do provide excellent colour at this time of the year….I think my favourite of yours has to be the marina wolkonsky, and how well it goes with the pink one. I have begun adding them to my garden each year, some do well but others dislike my sandy soil.xxx

  19. What a fabulous collection of asters, I’m bookmarking this for future reference. I’m rather glad you got sidetracked!

  20. rosademure says:

    Reblogged this on roasademure and commented:
    beautiful !!

  21. I like to pick favorites too, but am amused when I remember my late friend Margot who noted, “Picking a favorite plant is like choosing a favorite child or dog, senseless and impossible when you love them all.” Among yours, I like ‘King George’, because of its particular hue, which was a color my grandmother wore whenever she could. Here, it would have to be the white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata), because it grows in shade.

  22. Chloris says:

    You are right about choosing a favourite plant. The answer is always ‘ whatever is in season’. I love all asters but some are particularly beautiful and some are more reliable than others. It is always useful to know which ones don’ t suffer from mildew.
    I love Eurybia divaricata too, although I do resent having to get my head round its new name. I’ ve only just got to grips with symphiotrichum. Maybe next year I will learn Eurybia.

  23. Aster is so much easier! 😦 I’m particularly fond of the dark purple “Marina Wolkonsky”. I have already added “Monte Casino” to my wish list, after seeing it to such good effect in Christina’s vase on Monday. Where would we be at this time of year without Ast….. Oops, sorry !…..Symphiotrichum? Must try harder!

    • Chloris says:

      Not only do we have to remember symphiotrichum, but Aster divaricatus is now Eurybia divaricata. It’ s not fair is it? I have actually got to grips with Symphiotrichum. I think of my lovely asters as a ‘ symphony’ of daisies, to remember the first part. And although the word is designed to ‘trichum’ I won’ t let it trick me.

      • How clever! I too, think up little tricks like that to help me memorise. You’ve helped me sort that one out! Now for Eurybia”! Any ideas?

      • Chloris says:

        Well I noticed when I was gardening today that it was full of bees. So I shall imagine looking at a bee on one of its flowers and telling it ‘ you are a bee- ah’.

  24. Oh! And “Primrose Path”, with its autumnal leaf tones.

  25. I’m happy with Aster, purely because it’s far easier to pronounce.
    A lovely selection. I note your comment re Purple Dome begin A. angliae rather than A. belgii. The purple dome I grow was labelled A. belgii – I must research and see if the label is wrong. Not that it would surprise me if it were.
    You’ve a gorgeous collection and I’m going to take note of one or two. I have tried them over the years and found the mildew not what I was looking for but now I’m armed with your information, I can try more. Thanks Chloris – this post has helped me a bunch 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      Oh good I am glad you found the post useful. Of course I can only write about the ones that do well for me and you have very different soil. But these are all very healthy here.

  26. Cathy says:

    Sigh – perhaps a girl can’t have too many asters and I did add 3 last year but where they are now? 😦 If I had to choose I think it would be the Wolkonsky one, but the bright pink one stands out too. How tall is your P Black Field?

  27. Chloris says:

    My Persicaria Blackfield is not very tall yet but I haven’ t had it very long. I saw it at Both Chatto’ s and thought the nice dark colour would go well with Little Carlow .. It is an an amplexicaulis and I think it grows to about the height that they all reach.
    Asters don’ t like to be too dry, do you think your 3 dried out?
    I have taken your advice and put my Little Dragon in a pot. It is a lovely healthy plant, thank you so much.

  28. bittster says:

    Beautiful. You have such a nice selection and I think it’s funny how they managed to all sneak into your garden before you realized there were so many!
    No favorites here. I enjoy them along the roadsides and in parks and have only just recently brought a few into the garden… other than all the ones which have already blown in on their own!

  29. Chloris says:

    You are lucky enough to have wild ones there.
    I have noticed that asters seem to be sneaking into my garden in increasing numbers the last 2 or 3 years. I find that if I buy a plant and plant it immediately, after a few days I can kid myself that I haven’ t really bought it. It’ s the horticultural equivalent of.buying a dress , putting it in the wardrobe and then saying to everyone who admires it: ‘ This old thing? I’ ve had it for ages’.

  30. You have totally won me over. I clearly need more asters. I have a tallish, wildish looking one which runs all over the place but is beautiful if you are firm with it. My soil is so free draining that lots of them might not grow for me but I am tempted by Marina. I think I might have a go.

  31. I also adore asters especially now…I have many of the same ones and can’t think of a favorite as I love them all.

  32. The wild asters along the verges in the Toronto area.

  33. Chloris says:

    You are so lucky having them growing wild. They must be a picture.

  34. threadspider says:

    You totally won me over too. Great informative post with more candidates for my shopping list! I have Monch and Purple Dome and 2 others,unnamed, I inherited, but I love Marina and Little Carlow too.

  35. Chloris says:

    Thank you. Asters are wonderful for this time of the year. Little Carlow is particularly lovely.

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