Daisy – Starwort, Perennial Aster
Eighteen inches to six feet.
Flowers of several colours, July to November.
Perhaps the most generally useful plant for furnishing
cut flowers and colour in the garden through the
far end of the summer and even beyond the first
The perennial Starworts are absolutely hardy,
increase rapidly, will grow in any tolerable soil,
and have a large range of variety in height and
habit of plant and colour of flowers; the latter
are single, daisy-fashion, a circle of rays surrounding
a yellow centre.
It is worth while to give the ground some special
treatment before planting. In the herbaceous border,
each station should be prepared by digging a space
of two or three square yards two spits deep, and
working in plenty of half-rotten manure below,
with lighter material in the upper stratum.
If a bed or large width of Asters is to be grown
together, the ground should be trenched through,
manuring as the work proceeds. The site should
be open and sunny, but not too hot or artificially
The planting is best done in early spring; a
light top-dressing may be scattered amongst the
roots, which should be eighteen inches to a yard
apart, according to the height of the plants.
As growth advances, one or two stout sticks must
be driven in beside each clump, and a girth of
tarred string fastened round the sheaf of stems
before there is danger from storms.
Instead of string, a wooden hoop, about eighteen
inches in diameter, and preferably painted in
dull green, may be placed about the plant, and
nailed or fixed with wire to a stout stake.
Another way of securing the clumps is to place
a cylinder of large-mesh wire netting round the
plants in spring; as growth advances the wire
is almost concealed by the leafage.
The whole must, of course, be supported by sufficient
stakes. In hot, dry weather water must be freely
given; the dense mat-like root fibres are extremely
thirsty, and in light soils the plant often flags
The water should be given two feet away from
the stems, to reach the outermost fibres, and
it must be ample – three or four gallons
in a moderate drink for one strong clump.
he dead stalks and litter must be cut down in
November, the ground weeded and lightly pricked
over, and a good top-dressing afforded.
The clumps should be lifted, broken up and replanted
about the fourth year. Choose the strong outside
growths for the new plantation; the woody and
spindling pieces from the centre should be thrown
There are at present a great many named sorts
of Michaelmas Daisy, a large proportion of which
are to the ordinary gardener’s eye extremely
New varieties appear every season, some excellent,
some altogether negligible.
The grower should be neither too conservative
nor too adventurous; let him keep the sterling
sorts, and make notes of the good new things as
he sees them at shows, in nurseries, or in the
garden of his friends.
The following are approved kinds:
Aster amellus Bessarabicus. Two or three feet.
Large purple blue flowers, September to October.
Aster “Coombe Fishacre”. Three feet;
flesh-coloured flowers, September to October.
Aster novæ Angliæ. Fiver to six feet;
dark purple, September to October.
Aster novæ Angliæ rubber. Five feet.
Flowers rose-purple, October.
Aster novi Belgii. Five feet. Flowers dark purple.
Aster n. Belgii “R. Parker”. Four
to six feet; large flowers of lilac blue, September
Aster n. Belgii “F. W. Burbidge”.
Four to five feet. Flowers mauve-blue, August
Aster n. Belgii “Madonna”. Two to
three feet; flowers pure white, August.
Aster horizontalis. Two feet; flowers small, red-purple
centres edged with white, stiff wiry growth, September.
Aster linosyris (sometimes classed separately
as Linosyris and called “Goldilocks”)
is an old-fashioned plant with very abundant small
yellow flowers, good for mixed borders, but hardly
in keeping with the general character of the “Michaelmas
The following are at present some of the best
of the named kinds: Photograph, Mme. Cacheux,
Edna Mercia, Purity, Perry’s Pink, Topsawyer,
See Also : Aster