Where did all those Asters go?

Plant varieties and cultivars come and go just like the fashions of the day, but when you are searching for a well-known plant or even a whole genus of plants only to find it has disappeared from plant catalogs, websites, and newly published books, it can be frustrating.

Sometimes though, the plant or plants in question have not disappeared but have just their name changed. Botanists now can classify plants far more accurately than in the past with the use of DNA and other techniques. Consequently, they've been able to break down some of the very large plant genera into smaller groups of more closely related plants.

The genus Aster has, in recent years, undergone such a reclassification. At Hardy's, they now have three genus in place of Aster.

ASTER as a genus still exists, but it is much smaller. It includes all of the ASTER amellus cultivars such as ASTER amellus 'King George,' A. amellus 'Sonora,' and A. amellus 'September Glow' etc.

It also still includes ASTER thomsonii and the ever-popular ASTER x frikartii 'Monch.'

ASTER divaricata has now become EURYBIA divaricate. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is a wonderful perennial providing masses of small starry white flowers throughout late summer, and it will grow happily in a semi-shady location.

Lastly, a new tongue twister of a name, SYMPHYOTRICHUM which encompasses many of the ASTER species growing at the nursery. 

Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster/ Michaelmas Daisy) and Aster Novi-belgii (New York Aster/ Michaelmas Daisy) can now be found under the Genus SYMPHYOTRICHUM, along with Aster turbinellus, Aster ericoides, Aster later forum var.horizontalis.

For more information:
Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants
Priory Lane Nursery
Freefolk Priors
RG28 7FA
01256 896533

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