Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Aster Amellus ‘King George’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Aster amellus 'King George' (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Aster amellus ‘King George’ (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b

Family: Asteraceae

Aster amellus ‘King George’ is a deciduous free flowering herbaceous perennial. Its dark green leaves are obovate to lanceolate with entire or serrate margins, up to 7cm long and 3cm broad. Its lilac flowers are daisy like with yellow centres, up to 5cm across and appear in corymbs. These are followed by seeds which are achene. Its roots produce runners which aids its spread.

Aster amellus 'King George' Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Aster amellus ‘King George’ Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The species Aster amellus, commonly known as the European Michaelmas Daisy, Italian Aster or Italian Starwort, is native to the mountains of Europe, east Europe ,south west Asia. In its native habitat it grows on free draining limestone at the edges of scrub and in sub-alpine meadows.

The etymological root of the binomial name Aster is derived from the Greek asthr meaning ‘star’, in reference to its flower. The root of Amellus is unclear.

The landscape architect may find Aster amellus ‘King George’ useful as part of a mixed herbaceous planting scheme. It may also be used as part of a prairie type planting scheme. Once established this perennial is drought tolerant.

Ecologically, Aster amellus ‘King George’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Aster amellus ‘King George’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Aster amellus 'King George' Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Aster amellus ‘King George’ Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Aster amellus ‘King George’ prefers moist, well-drained soils. It a neutral to alkali pH of soil.

Aster amellus ‘King George’ requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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