Douglas Aster, also known as Aster subspicatum, is a stunning perennial wildflower native to British Columbia. This hardy plant is found in various regions of the province and is also common in Washington and Oregon.
The leaves of the Douglas Aster are silvery and saw-toothed with fine, close, feltlike woolly hairs. The plant produces heads with ray and disk flowers that can be violet or yellow in colour. Achenes are faintly nerved, and the pappus is usually reddish at maturity. The Douglas Aster thrives in full sun in moist conditions and has moderate drought tolerance. Well-drained and moist soil is best for this plant, and it spreads slowly by underground rhizomes. Clumps can be split up and replanted every 2-3 years.
The Douglas Aster is an essential crop for nectar feeding in the fall and attracts many pollinators. In addition, Indigenous Peoples used aster species for various medicinal purposes, such as making tea from the roots to treat fevers and diarrhea, placing burned or powdered preparations in or on wounds, and making a tea from the whole plant and using an absorbent material to push it into the wound.
Bring a touch of the wild to your garden with the Douglas Aster, a beautiful and beneficial addition to any landscape.
References https://ibis.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/eflora/ https://www.wildflower.org/plants/ http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/ Photo credit: Wikipedia
Plant spreads very slowly by underground rhizomes. Clumps can be split up and replanted every 2-3 years.
General: Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome or stem-base; stems ascending to erect, hairy above, simple or branched above, 0.1-1.0 m tall.
Leaves: Basal leaves few, soon deciduous; stem leaves oblanceolate below, often narrowed to a winged, stalked base, slightly if at all clasping, 7-13 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, glabrous or nearly so, saw-toothed, at least above. Silvery, especially beneath, with fine, close, feltlike woolly hairs, green with age, entire; stem leaves several, lanceolate to spoon-shaped, greatly reduced.
Flowers: Heads with ray and disk flowers, few to more commonly many in a round-topped inflorescence; involucres 5-6 mm tall; involucral bracts often strongly graduated, linear to lanceolate, abruptly sharp-pointed, usually with a conspicuous, yellowish or brownish basal portion and with an evidently thin, dry, papery or sometimes minutely fringed margin; ray flowers 20-30, violet, 10-15 mm long; disk flowers yellow.
Fruits: Achenes faintly nerved, more or less hairy; pappus usually reddish at maturity.