FALSE ASTER flowers seed
False Aster, also known as Eastern Doll’s Daisy or White Doll’s Daisy, is a perennial from the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada. Plants have sturdy stems, narrow gray-green leaves and produce beautiful sprays of numerous white flowers in late summer and fall. Plants spread by rhizomes but do not spread aggressively. This species typically occurs in sunny to lightly shaded forests, thickets, stream banks, moist meadows and prairies. Plants endure seasonal flooding and tolerate standing water for short periods. Flowers are attractive to many pollinators such as bees, beetles, butterflies, flies, moths and skippers. Plants also attract beneficial insects that prey upon pest insects. Recommended for pollinator gardens, wet meadows, detention basins, and rain gardens.
A robust bloomer, Boltonia asteroides - False Aster provides a bright white presence from late summer to the first frosts, a time when the predominant native flower color is yellow. Hundreds of aster-like blossoms on a single plant are an inch across and feature yellow centers surrounded by narrow white ray petals that sometimes are tinged pink to purple. Narrow gray-green leaves and sturdy stems add to the plant's visual appeal.
False Aster prefers wet to medium soil conditions and grows best in full sun to partial shade. Profuse blooms can be expected in wetter soils and sunny sites, and the height can vary greatly from 3' to 5' depending on soil moisture. Standing water is even tolerated for short periods so it's a great choice for Rain Gardens. It is rhizomatous by nature so will spread, but not aggressively. Many insects are attracted to this plant, including butterflies, long and short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, skippers, moths, and beetles. It has a wide native range, from zone 3 to 10.
Sowing: In late fall, direct sow the seed on the surface of the soil. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before direct sowing on the surface of the soil; these seeds need light to germinate. Keep the soil very wet until germination. Thin or transplant the seedlings.
Growing: Keep the soil very moist; this plant naturally occurs in floodplains and can thrive even in standing water, though it also tolerates average soil. Taller plants may need support or staking. For tidier growth, the plant may be pruned back by one third before the the buds form. Keep weeds down to a minimum, since it does not do well with competition. This plant attracts butterflies.
Harvesting: For fresh flowers, cut the stems at ground level and place them in water immediately.
Seed Saving: After the flowers fade, the seed heads will form mature seed. Ripe seed will be a pale tan color, and light enough to be carried by the wind. Shake the plant over a container to gather the ripe seed. Store the seed in a cool, dry pl