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When a weed isn't

  • Subject: [iris-photos] When a weed isn't
  • From: Mickey Corley mcorley@compuserve.com
  • Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 05:53:06 -0400

Message text written by INTERNET:iris-photos@yahoogroups.com
>This native plant was dug out of the bar ditch several years ago.  The
common name is - surprise! - blue aster.  In the fall it has proved to be a
spectacular garden plant.  I've considered planting it directly among the
irises since the natural foliage is pretty thin and grows at a very uniform
height.  I'm always afraid that I'm going to move something in that is too
invasive, but this one spreads very gradually.  Normally it isn't bothered
by grasshoppers, but the plague last year proved that when their numbers
bad enough they will.  It blooms late, so I've seen it freeze damaged once.
Normally, though, it is covered by literally thousands of lilac-blue blooms
with the yellow center.  It is also growing in place that is very shallow
soil over a limestone bed where I can't manage to keep anything else
growing.  Some Dutch irises and Spanish irises will bloom on the right side
next spring, but those growing from rhizomes haven't managed the location.
A great plant for me here.

It is a fantastic fall blue flower but when  in rich garden conditions, it
is very invasive - I had to get rid of the start I had - didn't take long

This year, my neighbor bought one at ACE hardware that was apparently a
hybrid of the blue aster.  It has double rows of petals on the flowers and
is slightly larger.  Hers was a gorgeous ball of blue - also called blue
aster.. It is in a pot so I don't know how invasive it would be - perhaps
it will winter over.  It didn't appear to have extra shoots coming up
around the main plant.

I raced down to ACE to buy one and the plant employee told me it was the
only one they had gotten in and had put it on sale to get rid of it I asked
the employee why they didn't get more.  She indicated it probably was
because it was 'hard to grow'.  Now I don't know exactly what she meant by
that, but I'm going to start looking for it in catalogs and try to find out
more about it.

It blooms when nothing else but other 'weeds' are blooming in my yard -
before my chrysantemums do although there are others in bloom all over

Bethany, OK 73008 - Center of Oklahoma, USA
Zone 6/7

Where our fabulous fall weather is still holding with cool nights and up in
the 80s during the day.

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