Where did all those Asters go?

Plant varieties and cultivars come and go just like the fashions of the day, but when you are searching for a well known plant or even whole genus of plants only to find it has disappeared from plant catalogues, websites and newly published books it can be really frustrating.

Sometimes though the plant or plants in question have not disappeared at all, they have just changed their name. Botanists now have the ability to classify plants far more accurately than in the past with the use of DNA and other techniques , consequently they've been able to breakdown some of the very large plant genus into smaller groups of more closely related plants.

The genus Aster has in recent years undergone such a reclassification. At Hardy's we now have three genus in the place of Aster.

ASTER as a genus still exists but it is much smaller. It includes all of the ASTER amellus cultivars such as ASTER amellus 'King George',  A. amellus 'Sonora' and A. amellus 'September Glow' e.t.c

It also still includes ASTER thomsonii  and the ever popular ASTER x frikartii 'Monch'.


ASTER divaricata  has now become EURYBIA divaricata , for those of you who are not familiar with it, it is a wonderful perennial providing masses of small starry white flowers throughout late summer and it will grow happily in a semi-shady location.

Lastly we have a new tongue twister of a name, SYMPHYOTRICHUM which encompasses many of the ASTER species we grow at the nursery. 

Aster novae-angliae   (New England Aster/ Michaelmas Daisy) and Aster novi-belgii   (New York Aster/ Michaelmas Daisy) can now be found under the Genus SYMPHYOTRICHUM  along with Aster turbinellus, Aster ericoides, Aster lateriflorum var.horizontalis