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Aster (Michaelmas Daisies)
at Digging Dog

Including Aster novi-belgii, Aster novae-angliae, Aster lateriflorus, Aster tataricus, and Aster x frikartii

Aster

Michaelmas Daisies

We never tire of Aster’s cheerful daisy faces and the profusion of colors and sizes that make up this genus, from 6 ft. giants to tiny dwarf alpines. Our Asters, large and small, are tried and true performers in ordinary garden soil and full sun. Generally late summer bloomers, they provide lots of oomph when other perennials have petered out.

View a slideshow of plant images from this genus


Aster asperulus  full sun
Aster asperulus

With a not-too-tall, high-spirited presentation of lavender-blue daisies, this compact, rarely offered Aster should find its way into more gardens.

Sturdy, wine-tinged, open branched stems maintain a pert straight-up stance carrying the big buds and two in. wide, thin rayed flowers. Rising above unusual, large green leaves distinguished by toothed margins, prominent veins and a somewhat fuzzy surface, the long blooming, sunny-eyed blossoms make a vivacious match for the darkly beautiful Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ above our stone wall.

Blooms late July–October.

Size: 15" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Aster asperulus (P-1307)
Each $7.25
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Aster ‘Bill’s Big Blue’  full sun

Blooming long after other flowers have faded, Asters are associated with afterthought and cheerfulness in old age. This Ed Carman selection is one of the largest Asters we offer, with clean-looking foliage right to the ground on strong, upright stems culminating in sprays of blue-violet flowers. Bring cheer to the fading days of summer by planting ‘Bill’s Big Blue’ with Helianthus and other stately late bloomers.

Blooms late September–early November

Size: 4'–5' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster ‘Bill’s Big Blue’ (p-0621)
Each $7.25
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Aster ‘Cassie’  full sun
Aster  Cassie

Pretty pink 1-½ in. flowers gather in festive clusters as they top sturdy stems clad in toothed linear foliage. Several layers of frilly petals swirl around the bright yellow eyes, delivering spirited color to the front lines of a perennial border, while Gaura ‘Pink Cloud’ and the darkly red Angelica gigas take up the rear.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 18"–2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster ‘Cassie’ (P-1085)
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Aster ‘Coombe Fishacre’  full sun

With a billowy habit, a reliable floriferous nature and fine foliage that looks dapper all season long, ‘Coombe Fishacre’ is one of our favorite Asters. Its deep green leaves cover sweeping branches all the way down, while a slew of lilac flowers warmed by rosy brown centers roost above. Well after the blooms have faded, the seed heads add intriguing colors and shapes.

This first-class Aster never needs staking and can be planted in large drifts amid Miscanthus ‘Nippon’, Molinia ‘Bergfreund’ or Eupatorium ‘Gateway’ for glowing pink echoes.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Aster ‘Coombe Fishacre’ (P-0392)
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Aster cordifolius  full sun
Aster cordifolius

FTD should get to know this perky, rarely seen Aster, and so should you. Buds form early and fool us into thinking they’re about to bloom, but they wait until the plant reaches full height. When it does, a mass of blue-violet on erect, wiry, wine red stems leaves us breathless. Try planting Teucrium f. ‘Azureum’ in front and Molinia ‘Windspiel’ as a backdrop. When flowering ends, we find the stems and seed heads of Aster cordifolius so delightful, we leave them on for winter interest.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 4'–5' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.


Aster cordifolius (p-0022)
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Aster cordifolius ‘Avondale’  full sun  partial shade
Blue wood Aster

Selected from a versatile Aster indigenous to our southeastern mountains, ‘Avondale’ greets fall with a jovial long lasting barrage of small, yellow-eyed pale lavender-blue daisies atop tidy slender green foliage. Acquiescent to varied light, it exhibits an upright open habit in sunny spots and becomes more relaxed and arching in darker recesses. Ignored by deer, but coveted by butterflies, floral arrangers, and gardeners, this floriferous wonder endures dry shade once established, favors well-drained soil and can be planted en masse along woodland fringes, meandering amid Geranium ‘White Ness’.

Blooms mid-August–early October.

Size: 20"–2-1/2' high x 18"–2' wide. Zone 3/4.

Aster cordifolius ‘Avondale’ (P-1746)
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Aster cordifolius ‘Chieftain’  full sun
Aster cordifolius Chieftain

Lifted on tall strong stems, a starry haze of umpteen, tiny, pale lavender-blue daisies lining branched upright sprays earned this impressive celebrity an AGM award and a place in our garden. Rich green tailored foliage stays fresh, while the sunny-eyed flowers lend an ethereal look to the fall landscape that can be juxtaposed against the coarser beauty of Vernonia crinita. Let shrubby roses or more sturdy perennials provide support in the back of the border, otherwise it will need staking or a spring pinching to ensure a shorter stature.

Blooms mid-August – October.

Size: 5' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster cordifolius ‘Chieftain’ (P-1609)
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Aster cordifolius ‘Little Carlow’  full sun

‘Little Carlow’ is lush and cheerful. Its flowers are larger and a deeper violet-blue than those of Aster cordifolius, and they have bright yellow centers. The green leaves, which reach to the ground, are also broader and darker. It blends well with tall grasses like Calamagrostis and Panicums and contrasts with yellow flowering plants such as Achillea ‘Marmalade’.

Blooms mid-August–early October.

Size: 3'–4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster cordifolius ‘Little Carlow’ (P-0255)
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Aster divaricatus  full sun  partial shade
White Wood Aster
Aster divaricatus

Small white flowers like finely cut daisies, with a yellow center, and elongated heart-shaped, coarsely toothed, dark green leaves, are displayed in large clusters on sinuous, purple-black stems. This Aster is better-known in Europe, where it’s used to light up shady urban gardens. We find it indispensable in the country too, for its tolerance of dry, shady sites. A good plant for the front of the border, try it with Hypericum kouytchense or broad-leafed perennials.

Blooms mid-July–September.

Size: 15"–18" high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster divaricatus (p-0023)
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Aster ‘Elsie Dale’  full sun
; hardy to zone 0.

Aster ‘Elsie Dale’ (P-0717)
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Aster ericoides hyb. ‘Ringdove’  full sun

Our anticipation soars as we wait for round buds to finally unfurl a galaxy of small starry blooms twinkling in rose-tinged lilac shades. Beneath the profuse late season display, tiny green leaves stay fresh for months, garnishing stiff branching stems, which angle out and form a well-mannered mound. Illuminated by citron-yellow centers with red streaks, the dainty daisies easily gratify companions like Achillea ‘Hella Glashoff’ or Origanum ‘Bristol Cross’.

Blooms mid-August–September.

Size: 2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Aster ericoides hyb. ‘Ringdove’ (P-0024)
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Aster ericoides ‘Golden Spray’  full sun

Mirroring autumn’s warmth, this Aster’s unexpected golden floral hues bring a glittery Midas touch to the late season border. Arching branched sprays of copious small daisies with narrow buff white petals and prominent rich yellow centers rise above the well-groomed, dense leafy clump, which makes a congenial neighbor for Astrantias and Pennisetum spathiolatum.

Blooms September – October.

Size: 2-1/2'–3' high x 2' wide. Zone 3/4.

Aster ericoides ‘Golden Spray’ (P-1610)
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Aster ericoides ‘Monte Cassino’  full sun  new plant

Beloved by late season garden aficionados, florists and butterflies, this exceptional Aster spotlights wispy crisp white clouds of petite yellow-centered daisies hovering above well-tailored tiny green leaves that form a vigorous bushy clump. ‘Monte Cassino’s delicate illuminated texture becomes a simple-to-place ethereal filler, perfect for juxtaposing against bolder perennials such as Persicaria or Crocosmia.

Blooms late August–September.

Size: 2'–3' high x 2'–3' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Aster ericoides ‘Monte Cassino’ (P-1792)
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Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’  full sun
Aster x frikartii Mönch

In some gardening circles, ‘Mönch’ is acclaimed as one of the ten best perennials. Prolific, 2-1/2 in. lavender flowers bloom lavishly for months on end. The clear color blends with so many others: light pink Geranium renardii ‘Mavis Simpson’, Phlomis lanata, Penstemon ‘Ruby’ and those yellow Kniphofia ‘Vanilla’.

Blooms July–October.

Size: 18" high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’ (p-0025)
Each $7.25
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Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’  full sun
Bluebird Smooth Aster

If you are looking for a Aster with engaging late season color, impeccably handsome mildew resistant foliage and a medium-sized frame that never needs staking, look no farther! Clad in glabrous, bluish green leaves, the vase-shaped clump showcases numerous broad, bouquetlike clusters of single, one inch wide, delicately rayed petals gathered by gilded centers. The jubilant floral display is elevated on red-hued stems and seems to cover the entire top half of the plant. Undeterred by varied moisture levels and soil types, ‘Bluebird’ is a Mt. Cuba Center introduction.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 4' high x 2'–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’ (p-1240)
Each $7.25
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Aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Black’  full sun
Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black

Shrouded in mysterious tiny black-purple foliage, ‘Lady in Black’ offers sprays of small white flowers with a healthy blush of pink. Unlike ‘Prince’s tight clumping habit, this tall and elegant Dutch lady has spreading upright stems that spread over time.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 3-1/2'–4' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster lateriflorus ‘Lady in Black’ (p-0700)
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Aster lateriflorus ‘White Lovely’  full sun
Calico Aster

A preeminent star of the fall show, ‘White Lovely’ entertains petite, thin-petaled white daisies tinged lilac when mature and brightened by sunny-side-up yellow eyes. The copious, late summer flowers are borne along horizontally branched leafy sprays of arching and wide-angled, purple-streaked stems with small, slender dark green foliage that never tuckers out.

We like to plant Monarda ‘Violet Queen’ and Melianthus ‘Antonow’s Blue’ behind while headlining this elegant Aster right up front.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster lateriflorus ‘White Lovely’ (P-1366)
Each $7.25
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Aster ‘Martha Roderick’  full sun
; hardy to zone 0.

Aster ‘Martha Roderick’ (P-0028)
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Aster novae-angliae ‘Harrington’s Pink’  full sun
New England Aster
Aster novae-angliae Harrington’s Pink

Celebrated by Graham Stuart Thomas for conveying “much garden charm,” this well-loved Aster’s attraction is her pink flowers and her tall profile. Lavish quantities of delicate gold-centered daisies house nearly 50 layered, extra fine rays each, while cresting thick, straight, somewhat woody branched stalks.

Bred by Mr. Hilliard from Williamsburg, Iowa, the robust, grayish green clump crowded with stem-clasping, bristle-rough, 4 to 5 in. long leaves tolerates wet soil and some shade, resists mildew and can accompany Sedum ‘Indian Chief’ and blue blooming Asters.

Blooms August – September.

Size: 3'–5' high x 2'–3' wide; hardy to zone 3.

Aster novae-angliae ‘Harrington’s Pink’ (p-1426)
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Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’  full sun
New England Aster

Lose yourself, like the linear, dark green fuzzy foliage, in a sea of royal purple flowers held on erect stems. Mildew resistant, compact and bushy, the handsome symmetrical mound becomes engulfed with 1-½ in. wide, golden-eyed, vividly colored daisies in a truly breathtaking spectacle, especially when planted en masse.

Dr. Richard Lighty developed this easy-care, late season show stopper that makes a sterling addition to arrangements and a captivating counterpoint to Stipa arundinacea.

Blooms August – early October.

Size: 18" high x 18"–2' wide; hardy to zone 3.

Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’ (p-0175)
Each $7.25
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Aster novi-belgii ‘Blue Danube’  full sun
Aster novi-belgii Blue Danube

This Aster’s alluring flowers promise a late season hurrah. Supported by stiff branching stems lined with verdant linear foliage, the blooms are the size of silver dollars, and layers of their closely set blue-violet petals radiate from yellow and maroon centers. ‘Blue Danube’ lends an air of elegance in the midst of Calamagrostis brachytricha and Angelica gigas.

Blooms September–early October.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Aster novi-belgii ‘Blue Danube’ (P-0921)
Each $7.25
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Aster novi-belgii ‘White Climax’  full sun

When this cultivar first bloomed in our garden, we were delighted to see such large flowers! A breathtaking contrast of pure white blossoms against handsome, verdant foliage with wine-colored veins creates a presentation even more spectacular than that of ‘Climax’. Combine with Origanum ‘Ed Carmine’ for a showy summer farewell.

Blooms September–early October.

Size: 2-1/2'–5' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Aster novi-belgii ‘White Climax’ (p-0633)
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Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’  full sun
Aster oblongifolius October Skies ; hardy to zone 0.

Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’ (P-1241)
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Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’  full sun
Aromatic Aster

Mr. Raydon Alexander of San Antonio, Texas, said this hearty mint-scented Aster was his favorite, and we’re sure you’ll agree. Originating near Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, drought tolerant ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ quickly forges a valiant, dense mound that gets buried under multitudes of bright blue-lavender daisies. With late richly colored flowers, distinguished by sunlit yellow eyes and fine-textured single rays, and a no-fuss, orderly nature, it proves indispensable in the fall border.

Blooms September – October.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide. Zone 3/4.

Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ (P-1611)
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Aster ‘Ochtendgloren’  full sun
Aster  Ochtendgloren

Conjuring a zestful spirit as summertime wanes, this elegant Aster parades branched heads of dainty pink starlike blooms and darker pink buds. The long and narrow, densely set foliage that lines its stiff, sturdy stems is handsome right to the ground. Claiming Aster pringlei lineage, ‘Ochtendgloren’ merrily partners with Pennisetum ‘Moudry’ and Geranium ‘Buxton’s Variety’ in front of our Beech hedge.

Blooms August–early October.

Size: 4'–5' high x 2'–3' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Aster ‘Ochtendgloren’ (p-1087)
Each $7.25
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Aster pyrenaeus ‘Lutetia’  full sun
Aster pyrenaeus Lutetia

‘Lutetia’ is one of our favorite low growing Asters, and by summer’s end you’ll see why. Its pink buds open into a charming blanket of large, yellow-centered, pastel daisies with delicately splayed lavender petals, completely hiding the loose mound of finely textured foliage and intertwined, wiry, deep purple stems.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 18" high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Aster pyrenaeus ‘Lutetia’ (p-0631)
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Aster tataricus ‘Jindai’  full sun  partial shade
Dwarf Tatarian Aster
Aster tataricus Jindai

The name may sound like one of the bad guys from Star Wars, but this unique Aster is definitely on our side with its upright bearing and lush textural appeal.

Not as towering as its moisture-loving Asian counterpart, ‘Jindai’ spawns huge serrated rough-to-the-touch leafage on stout shorter stalks and abundant branched sprays of late blooming violet flowers engraved by large saffron eyes. A stand-alone for the mixed border, its assertive look can be juxtaposed against finer textured plants like Spiraea ‘Ogon’ and Phlox ‘David’.

Blooms September–November.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 3.

Aster tataricus ‘Jindai’ (P-0632)
Each $7.25
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Aster turbinellus  full sun
Aster turbinellus

With a carefree cant, green, lance-shaped leaves have a lively look all season. Lean, dark violet-streaked stems give way to airy, lavender-colored sprays of glassine blossoms whose open petals are caught in a vivid yellow center. The red hues in the stems of Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ and Echinops enliven this Aster’s rich verdure.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 3.

Aster turbinellus (P-0819)
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Aster ‘White Swan’  full sun
; hardy to zone 0.

Aster ‘White Swan’ (P-1088)
Each $7.25
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