Monday, November 15, 2010

A Fall Blooming Native

A morning walk around the path revealed some new blooms that have emerged since cooler weather has come our way. 

**Climbing Aster, Aster carolinianus,** is a native viny shrub that loves boggy conditions. Planted in the boggy area that hasn't been boggy this year, it is still looking happy and producing light lavender blooms.

Two specimens of this wetland plant started as seedlings this spring.  The little seedlings were about 8 inches tall and just one spindly looking stem.  Those stems grew to be four feet in height before putting out branches that now hold a profusion of flowers. 

Fuzzy bees are all over these light lavender blossoms.  As soon as the morning sun warms the air a bit, they fly in and begin nectaring. 

Though the bottom half of these asters is a bit scruffy, they seem to be a good native choice for a difficult area of the garden.  (Hmmm....the lemon grass thriving in the same general area could be placed in front of these asters to camoflage those bare stems.)  Hopefully, they will re-seed with abandon and so will ideas for how to best use them in the garden. 

** Since publishing this post I have learned that this aster is most likely another native, Elliott's aster (Symphyotrichum elliottii) rather than the one I named.  It is supposed to sucker freely so I will probably be able to fill in my boggy area nicely. Here is a great link for more information if you are interested:


  1. Nana ~ Where did you find this aster? It looks like it has done quite well even without boggy conditions.

    Have a great week.~ FlowerLady

  2. I have the same question...Where did you find those?I love them!

  3. You do find the most unusual plants! Well, I guess a native shouldn't be unusual, should it? I just went for a hike this afternoon, and saw no such beauty out there in the wild. Where have all the asters gone? Seriously, that is a beautiful blue! Love the bee shot!

  4. FlowerLady and ChrisC - A friend who has a bog garden gifted me with a couple seedlings. Her bog garden was made on purpose rather than dealing with an existing on again/off again boggy area. Since her bog stays a bog all year long I wasn't sure these asters would do well when my area went dry. Fortunately, they have done just fine.

    Here is a link to a native nursery in the Tampa Bay Area that carries this plant:

    Floridagirl - I did see some of these in the Hillsborough River around USF area. From what I've read they are native to the entire Southeastern U.S. I'm just hoping they re-seed or spring up from underground runners or something. The gardener I received these from had them multiply in her bog so I'm hoping.

  5. Hmmm, I wonder if this is the Native that I am forever pulling out of my lawn?

  6. Hi Kay...I've been enjoying the aster plants at the school garden, and thinking about trying to root some cuttings. I also have a wet area that goes dry in winter. Thanks for the encouragement to grow some in my garden.

  7. Ooh, this is a lovely native plant, especially love the lavendar color. I too agree with Floridagirl that you often have some unusal plants.

    The idea combining lemon grass with it sounds a good one.

  8. That plant showed up as a volunteer in my usually boggy garden too! I kept it since I kind of liked the flowers anyways and I'm glad I did! Thanks for sharing.


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