Aster tataricus ‘Jin-Dai’ is a tall herbaceous perennial that blooms in very late fall – usually through the month of October and even into November in our area. It has clusters of blue-purple flowers with bright yellow centers on the tops of thick, erect stems. ‘Jin-Dai’ is a more compact selection of the species and is generally the one found in cultivation.
While this is not a native plant (it is native to Siberia), it’s very late bloom time is of great benefit to bees. With warm weather extending the fall season, insects are staying active longer. This Aster provides nectar and pollen after many of our native plants have finished blooming for the year.
Aster tataricus has large, coarse leaves at the base that can provide contrast in the garden. It grows best in full sun and can tolerate many soil types, but does require decent drainage. The tall stems (4-5 feet ) are generally self-supporting but may need some support in windy areas or very rich soils.
The plant expands by underground rhizomes but is easily controlled by division. Unlike most of our native asters, it is not eaten by rabbits. It is also a good cut flower.
Give Aster tataricus ‘Jin-Dai’ a try in your own garden for a shot of late season flower power.
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