Alma Potchke Aster And Two Aster Friends Plus An Imposter

  • Post published:09/23/2021
  • Post comments:4 Comments
Alma Potchke aster

It is Autumn and time to look at asters – like Alma Potchke! The beauty of asters is that they will  bloom when there is very little  color in the garden. This is a favorite aster of mine because I am reminded of Elsa Bakalar who first showed me this aster. She had quite a lot in her own Heath garden. I also like this aster, and other asters, because they do attract pollinators. Lots of buzzing around these flowers.

Wood’s Blue Aster

This low growing aster, Wood’s Blue, was first given to me by a friend in Northampton. I planted a small clump on the Hugel at the back of our garden. It has now spread tremendously, and I have actually ripped out small areas.  Let me know if you’d like a clump. It is no more than 12 inches high.  I can see that I will need to  cut this back  a little because it is marching east and  could easily overcome my ‘barren strawberries’ otherwise known as Waldsteinia ternata which have lovely yellow blossoms early in the spring.

Wood’s Blue aster

Wood’s Blue has been blooming almost since the beginning of September.  I can see that it is showing a little age but I know have a lot of time left to enjoy it.

Mystery Aster

I do not know the name of this plant which I put in the hell-strip (or more politely, the tree line) in front of the house. The foliage is very fine and it grows about two feet tall. It has spread over the past four or five years, not long after we moved into our Greenfield house. You can see that it has spread and is sharing space with the daylilies.


Boltonia (Boltonia asteroides) is not an aster.  However it has come to be known as a false aster. The genus name honors James Bolton (1735-1799), English botanist. It grows to about five feet and more, and the flowers are a bit larger than aster blossoms. A great attribute is that this tall plant looks delicate but it stands upright and does not bend over with exhaustion. It is a very tough plant. The original white version is named Snowbank Boltonia, but there are others: Pink Beauty which grows no higher than five feet and is less sturdy; and Jim Crockett grows between 18-24 inches and is a pink-lavender color.

Do you have asters bloom in your autumn garden?

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. northerngardenerblog

    I have Wood’s Blue and boltonia, plus a couple of others. Love asters in the fall and so do the bees.

  2. Pat

    Mary – It is so good to hear from you. I also have bees, and a very few Monarchs. Our town is very pollinator attentive!

  3. Beth@PlantPostings

    You have some beautiful asters! I tried to grow some, but the rabbits ate them all. But I do love them and enjoy seeing them during hikes and visits to other gardens. Happy autumn!

  4. Pat

    Beth – It is squirrels that live in our garden – feasting on the Chinese chestnuts that fall from our giant tree. Did you know that at least 20% of squirrels are thieves? They don’t bother pulling chestnuts off the tree – they just make note of where the other squirrels are hiding theirs – and dig those nuts up when they feel hungry. And some of those nuts are buried right in my rose garden/area.

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