Friday, December 8, 2023

Planting Aster ericoides for a fall snow flurry of flowers


In the present day, as I used to be strolling via the gardens (it’s the first of October as I write this), one in all our gardeners informed me there was a flurry of snow in her backyard. To not trigger alarm, though snow has already fallen in some elements of america. She was referring to the fantastic, creeping Aster referred to as ‘Snow Flurry.’ Snow Flurry aster is understood botanically as Aster ericoides ‘Snow Flurry.’

Some taxonomists have rewritten the asters into a number of totally different genera, so this one is now referred to as Symphyotrichum ericoides ‘ Snow Flurry.’ The cultivar title can also be written as ‘Schneegitter,’ which I assume is German for sneeze getter. Or snow flurry. If I spoke German, perhaps I might know the actual which means.

Snow Flurry heath aster by Dan Mullen.

Utilizing Aster ericoides within the Backyard

Snow Flurry Aster is a implausible, late-season flowering floor cowl.

Aster ericoides is a native plant that reaches a peak of 6-8″ in peak by 2′ in unfold. It has wonderful leaves barely resembling Erica crops, thus the widespread title of heath-aster.

This perennial must be grown in full solar with well-drained soil. It is rather tolerant of dry soils.

Snow Flurry is roofed with 1/2″ diameter white flowers in late September and into early October. They’re characterised as ray flowers.

(I appeared up what which means precisely – and that is what the dictionary supplied: “one of many marginal flowers of the pinnacle in a composite plant (such because the aster) that additionally has disk flowers.” )

Don’t ask me to translate that for you – I don’t get it both. (However, a diagram right here may assist make clear – I can’t nevertheless attest to its accuracy.)

Right here is my layman’s description – they’ve skinny little petals that radiate from a yellow middle. The petals are so skinny they’ll nearly seem like tufts of white hair.

Additionally – the flowering stem has a lot of flowers – so that you get an entire spray of blooms when slicing them for flower preparations, and if left within the backyard, they appear to be mounds of snow).

In masse, Snow Flurry makes fairly a present when in bloom. It flowers within the late summer season/early fall (in my backyard in New England, it’s September into October). It does kinda appear to be snow if you happen to squint laborious whereas it via the fog with another person’s glasses (not that I’ve ever tried this).

Snow Flurry Asters by Ali Eminov.

Sustaining Aster ericoides

As soon as Snow Flurry aster is completed flowering, I might take away all of the spent flowers except you need tons of aster seedlings all over the place subsequent 12 months.

We’ve got a mass rising on a rocky ledge alongside our Haney Hillside Backyard at Coastal Maine Botanical Backyard. These asters thrive in rocky soils and are identified for being glorious in rock gardens. For the subsequent few weeks, it will likely be some of the asked-about crops in our backyard.

If you wish to enhance the choice of crops in your backyard within the fall – these early fall favorites are much better than chrysanthemum asters. They’re hardy to all the east coast of North America (the place they’re additionally native). As a result of they’re native crops, you’ll find they’re the completely satisfied dwelling to many pollinators throughout a season when little else is flowering within the backyard.


Dahlia ‘Park Princess,’ Aster ericoides ‘Pink Star,’ Arundo donax ‘Golden Chain’, Cuphea ‘Sriracha Rose’ and pink guara by Okay M.

The place to Purchase Native Fall Asters

Buy Snow Flurry Aster (additionally generally referred to as White Heath Aster) at North Creek Nursery.

Aster Ericoides (or Symphyotrichum ericoides) additionally is available in a number of different colours –

Search for Symphyotrichum ericoides ‘pink’ and Aster ericoides ‘pink star’ – each, as you’ll anticipate, are pink.

Equally, Symphyotrichum ericoides ‘blue surprise’ is a blueish lavender shade.

Aster ericoides ‘Monte Cassino’ is white, however it’s taller, and it’s a higher cut-flower because of its longer stems (as much as 3 toes tall).


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