November 17, 2008

Eastern Aromatic Aster, Native Perennial Wildflower



You've got to love the blue-purple color of this gorgeous Eastern Aromatic Aster! How aromatic? Rub or crush the leaves to inhale the pine fragrance.

Hundreds of blooms pop out in the autumn months, lighting up the roadsides of western North Carolina. Any flower enthusiast will brake their car to a halt to see nature's color combination of purple aster beside yellow native solidago.

Peaking in October, this native wildflower aster oblongifolius var. angustatus grows to a height of 2-4 feet. Aromatic aster can be found as far west as Texas and Wisconsin. Here in the humid South, the aster grows wild in thickets and fields. Drought tolerant, it can tolerate rocky locations and poor soil as long as it receives good sunlight.

I'm so tempted to grow this native in my own garden. The rabbits (or deer) have munched all other asters that I've grown. If Aromatic Aster can survive the deer and rabbits in the wild, then why can't it survive those hungry critters in my home garden? Perhaps the key to survival is the fact that it is aromatic!

I took this photo at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill where the Eastern Aromatic Aster grows in profusion in the Rare Plants Garden. Next spring, I'm going to go back to see if the Botanical Gardens has the Eastern Aromatic Aster available for sale.

Photo and story by Freda Cameron

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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