Carex morrowii ‘Ice Dance’ #1 (‘Ice Dance’ Japanese Sedge)December 24, 2022
Eupatorium [Eutrochium] purpureum #2 (Sweet Joe Pye)December 24, 2022
Aster [Doellingeria] umbellatus #1 (Flat-topped Aster)
-Full Sun, Part Sun
-Wet to Moist Soil (FACW)
-Slightly Acidic pH
-3-5′ Tall by 1-3′ Wide
-Upright, Rhizomatous Growth Habit
-Creamy White Flowers Aug.-Sept.
Out of stock
Flat-topped Aster is a strongly upright, unbranched and starry-looking wildflower native to moist meadows, woodland margins, and open, high-quality wetland areas throughout the eastern half of North America. It blooms abundantly with small white flowers in flat-topped clusters for 6-8 weeks beginning in late July, earlier than most other asters. It is a tall and conspicuous plant in flower, and it can form small colonies in favorable conditions through its rhizomatous spread and by seed. It needs plentiful room to grow and shorter, supporting plants to help it stay upright during its blooming period. They can be cut back in late spring to help control the height and floppiness during flowering. This is a great plant for large rain gardens but it looks best when it is planted in groups or allowed to colonize an area.
Asters provide an invaluable source of late-season nectar and pollen for a myriad of insect pollinators. Four specialist bee species are attracted to Flat-topped Asters, while butterflies flock to the flowers, often hanging from them like delicate ornaments. Many granivorous birds, such as juncos and goldfinches, will eat the seeds through the winter months. Asters are also larval host plants of many Lepidoptera, including the cartoonish-looking Saddleback Caterpillar and the familiar and loveable Woolly Bear caterpillar, which turns into the Isabella Tiger Moth. The caterpillars of the tiny Pearl Crescent and the Silvery Checkerspot butterflies overwinter on or near the base of the plants and emerge in the spring. Elusive but captivating Fork-tailed Katydids, Short-Winged Katydids and Blatchley’s Walkingsticks are also attracted to these Asters. Flat-topped Asters are the primary host of the Harris’ Checkerspot Butterfly.
Growing and Propagating Wildflowers by William Cullina
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Integrated Landscape: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons