Plant ID forum: Aster cultivar?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Sep 21, 2015 10:52 AM CST
I have this simply noted as a New England aster, trying to narrow down the cultivar. From photo comparisons, my best guesses are Alma Potochke or Vibrant Dome. The coloring is closer to Vibrant Dome, but my plant is tall - more in the 3-4' range. Hella Lacy is another candidate. Any aster aficionados out there? @Lauribob this came from you, perhaps you have another photo you could supply. I don't have one showing the height, just this closeup of the blooms. I sure love the brilliant color.



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Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
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HamiltonSquare
Sep 21, 2015 12:02 PM CST
What about 'September Ruby' it is 3'-4 tall? I have one this color but its the same height as 'Purple Dome' not sure which it is but I'm leaning toward 'Vibrant Dome'. Maybe @Lauribob can assess them both. It does seem that the disk of yours is a bit obscured by some petal growing from the center? Am I seeing that right. Is that the lacy part of 'Hella Lacy' ?
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[Last edited by HamiltonSquare - Sep 21, 2015 12:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Lauri
North Central Washington (Zone 5b)
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lauribob
Sep 21, 2015 1:12 PM CST
I've been wanting to figure out that one too. I don't have any great pics of it, unfortunately. It's very tall for me - all of 4 feet, and grows into the hydrangea next to it or flops in the weeds. I should cut it back early so it can stand better on its own, but I never remember to do that. Here are a couple of poor pictures I have. Neither are in bright sunlight so mine looks darker than yours.
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Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Sep 21, 2015 1:58 PM CST

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New England Asters tend to be fairly short lived. But, they reseed well enough that, especially in informal plantings, it's easily possible to not notice that the original plant is gone and has been replaced by its children. I planted Purple Dome, Vibrant Dome, Alma Potochke, September Ruby and maybe a couple of other cultivars in my butterfly garden. Just seven years later, there's a kaleidoscope of colors out there and none of the plants could honestly be identified as any of the above cultivars.

In other words, unless you are sure you still have the original plant, or a cutting from it, you can't really be sure you have a named cultivar. Even when buying from a nursery, you have to hope they are propagating the plants vegetatively because, if they are growing them from seeds (which, in the case of asters, is a lot cheaper and easier), you aren't truly getting the cultivar you're paying for.
Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
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HamiltonSquare
Sep 21, 2015 2:29 PM CST
Thats a very good point Kent. I have some 'Dream of Beauty' that, until some of the plants bloomed this year I hadn't realized they were seedling and they don't come true to color or height. I assume it just revered to the spieces Symphyotrichum oblongifolium. Still a very nice arraignment. The floppy asters I get rid of. Bills big blue is the next one in line to be removed. I have it tied to itself this season and so far its still standing but one good rain or wind and it'll be over. You had mentioned the Symphyotrichum novae-angliae not being long lived. How long is that? We have some nice tidy clumps here that I really prefer and want to keep. I know there at least four years old. OOOPS sorry Deb. Looks like I tromp all over your thread, I appologies. *Blush*

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Hamilton Square Garden, Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento California.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Sep 21, 2015 2:29 PM CST
Good information Kent, thanks. This particular aster came as a chunk from Lauribob, and has not reseeded itself that I've noticed (planted as one clump, now larger clump but not really spreading out). I was planning to split it out this fall or spring to increase its presence, even though it has a bit of a stability problem (I'm not big on plant supports). I'm often a bit mystified when others warn of rampant reseeding (rudbeckia, beebalm, now aster) where I see virtually none. Must be a regional/climatic thing. I typically have wet winters with not a lot of freezing, although that trend has certainly changed in the last few years.

In response to Hamilton Square, yes, this aster is more 'frilly' than others I have, although I'm not seeing that so much in Lauribob's photos (from whom I got the initial start). But, she and I live on opposite sides of a mountain range, and often note really different growth habits and/or colors from plants we exchange.

Edited to add: No worries, Hamilton, about straying from subject, it's all relevant to understanding how flowers work.
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[Last edited by Bonehead - Sep 21, 2015 2:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Myriam
Ghent, Belgium (Zone 8a)
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bonitin
Sep 22, 2015 8:03 AM CST
my best guesses are Alma Potochke

I have had the plant Deb, I does look like that one to me, though I don't know the other you mentioned.

I gave it to my brother who has a bigger land and it grew very tall, unfortunately don't have pics of it it, just one close-up of the flower when it was still with me.
The colour changes a lot according to the light, the camera settings too, this one was taken in the warm evening sunlight..
It had the label: "Aster novae-angliae 'Andenken an A. Pötschke' "

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 24, 2015 10:50 AM CST
Thanks all. I am going with A. Potschke which is the closest match for size and color. I've uploaded my photo but put it in the generic aster entry since I am not 100% sure of the ID. But, will pull that photo into My List under A. Potschke.
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