Hokey Smokes! I can't believe it's that big!
Although, not from around these parts, Aster tataricus, has been making its home at Clay and Limestone for at least a decade. It's a big and tall beauty that makes me smile when it blooms in late September.
When a gardening friend shared Aster tataricus with me, she warned that it spread by rhizomes and that I might be sorry.
I have never been sorry. It's done exactly what I hoped~Created an attractive swath of flowers late in the season that is also a magnet for pollinators.
From early September until heavy frosts in November its blooms are covered with bees, skippers and butterflies. That makes me happy.
This garden is big enough to take on a tall glass of water like Tartar Aster. It also has the perfect conditions to keep a cheeky fellow like this in check....dry soil. My friend's warning should be kept in mind~Tatarian aster is an aggressive colonizer. Especially, in moist, rich soil. By no stretch of the imagination does Clay and Limestone have moist, rich soil. But, in a year with ample rainfall, this aster will increase.
|Plant him in the back of the border, or where ever you want to make a statement along with Joe Pye Weed, Verbena bonariensis or naturalized with native ex-asters and False Dragonhead and let them duke it out!|
I'm not recommending that you plant this guy in your garden*. I can't promise you that it won't be an aggressive thug. But, if you can handle that, I can promise you pretty aster flowers that bloom until your first frost and many happy pollinators.
|Aster tataricus is a magnet for local and migrating Monarch butterflies|
I'm also pretty sure that a few butterfly will stop by to nectar on them.
*The Facts: Not a native. Tall aster that needs no staking and blooms from September until November. Grows in most soils, needs dividing regularly and can create quite a colony in the perfect conditions. Hardy to Zone 3 and tolerates Southern heat and humidity well. Most of the growing season AT is a basal rosette of large paddle shaped sandpapery leaves that grow up to 24 in (61 cm) long and 6 in (15 cm) wide with long petioles and toothed margins. It reminds me of flowering tobacco. I like the rosettes and they go a long way to solving Small Leaf Syndrome that plagues my garden. WARNING WILL ROBINSON: Under ideal growing conditions, tatarian aster can spread aggressively by its rhizomes, and take over a flower bed. (source)