- Part shade. Will grow in deep shade but with fewer flowers
- Garden to forest soil conditions
- Roughly 3' ion height spreading at a moderate rate (similar to Monarda)
- Garden settings, open woodlands and meadows
This is one of the species that really drove home for me the extent to which the conventional horticultural industry has rejected native species.
Late season colour in dry, shaded gardens can be frustratingly elusive when working with most popular perennial landscape species. There is a reason that so many shaded landscapes rely on foliage texture and colour rather than blooms (Hostas anyone?).
But that reason isn’t because there aren’t any late blooming species for those areas. Heart Leaved Aster, posted yesterday is one, Zigzag Goldenrod is another. There are a few more that I’ll be posting this week and others, like White Wood Aster, that I don’t know well enough yet to profile but that would also thrive in semi shaded, urban settings.
All are disease resistant, tolerant of summer dry spells, have showy blooms in late summer and into the fall and thrive in similar light levels as the ubiquitous Hosta. Yet they are rarely offered in the nursery trade.
The plants pictured in today’s post are still young, this was their first fall of blooms. In another year or two they will mature to a similar height as the nearby Heartleaved Asters. Roughly 3’ in a garden setting where they get a drink during very dry spells. In more challenging conditions their height can be closer to 18”. From what I’ve read, I expect them to spread at a similar rate as the Asters or the nearby Red Monarda (I’ve also added an Obedient Plant to the mix, so everyone will likely end up happily tumbling through each other in the next year or two). In a very rich setting, they can be strong spreaders. Which makes me wonder if they would be a good post-Garlic-Mustard-removal species to introduce rich, shaded settings.
Their blooms are very popular with late season pollen and nectar feeders and their foliage remains green and full until hard frost.
Their late blooming can make seed maturity an iffy prospect, but last year’s early start meant that I was able to collect a nice bunch of seed puffs which are now stratifying in containers under a snow drift on my patio so I hope to be able to offer these in the spring seedling sale.