Michaelmas daisy Overview
Aster is a large genus of around 150 annual, biennial and perennial sub-shrubs, mostly originating from different parts of South Africa. They reside in the daisy family, Asteraceae. (Some plants still commonly called Asters, have now been re-classified as belonging to the genus Symphyotrichum.) Widely cultivated for their pretty star-shaped flowers which appear in summer or autumn, hybrid Aster varieties have been produced in a range of colours - mainly blue, purple, pink or white. In the centre of most, there is a yellow disc of tiny florets. While there are Asters for just about every garden situation - from rock gardens to cut flower borders and from dry wildflower meadows to streamsides - different species have different requirements, so make sure you know how to treat them well before you buy! Regular watering of young plants, a moderately fertile soil and deadheading are common needs of most.