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This plant forms an essential supporting cast to the highly coloured stars of the autumn border: strong-growing, upright and dependable with a simple froth of tiny white daisies for many weeks.
- Position: full sun or light shade
- Soil: most well drained soils
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: August to October
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Pretty white flowers, tinged purple, with yellow centres appear from the end of summer to autumn. The flowers are produced in flattish clusters, hence the common name 'flat-topped aster'. They are one of the earliest asters into flower and each individual flower has petals which tend to curve downwards. A great plant that produces clumps of mildew-resistant foliage and easy-to-pick flowers. Butterflies love them too.
- Garden care: Stake with brushwood in early spring to support tall growth. Leave flower heads to dessicate through the winter when they will present an attractive garden silhouette. Also a rich source of food for some of our native birds. Apply a generous mulch of well-rotted garden compost or horse manure around the base of the plant in spring to encourage new growth.
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Comments about Aster umbellatus:
This is a great plant for back of border. It is hardy and has stayed healthy without any help. It has increased a lot and is especially valuable to me because the army of slugs we have in the Cornish wall just behind it have left it alone with a few slug pellets. Also great because the strong gales we get flatten dahlias etc but this seems to remain standing tall. I've found crocus plants usually do v well and this is no exception.
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