Tom's Blog

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Aromatic aster

Aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius) is now in full bloom. In Wisconsin this handsome aster is found in a restricted area in dry, primarily calcareous, sites in the southwest part of the state. According to Cochrane and Iltis, it is now fairly rare, less common than its distribution map in the state suggests. It has the relatively high Coefficient of Conservation of 6.

As far as we can tell, this species was not present at Pleasant Valley Conservancy before restoration began (but it "should" have been). We obtained seed from a Dane County source and raised plants in the greenhouse. They transplanted beautifully and have flourished. The photo here is of a single plant that Kathie planted on the steep road bank near our parking area. It is obviously doing well. It has also done well in several of our planted prairies.

Because this is such a showy plant, it is popular with gardeners, especially because it provides a real splash of color in the late fall when most plants are finished flowering.


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