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FutureStarrAster novi belgii fellowship
Aster novi-belgii 'Fellowship' (New York Aster) features masses of large, beautifully shaped, pale pink, double flowers, up to 2.25 in. wide (6 cm), with nicely quill-shaped ray petals. As the flowers mature, they start resembling soft pompons as their many petals delicately twist and turn to enclose their fresh lime-green center. Born on slender, branched stems bearing lance-shaped, dark green leaves, they bloom for weeks from late summer to late fall and enliven any sunny corner of the garden. Native to North America, it is easy to grow, long lived, brings cheerful fall color and is a great source of nectar for butterflies. Typically grows with an upright, bushy habit, up to 40 in. tall (100 cm) and 20 in. wide (50 cm). May need staking Symphyotrichum novi-belgii is a North American species which has become naturalized in parts of Europe, thriving in ruderal and waste areas, and mainly spreading vegetatively (BFIS, 2010). According to Hoffmann (1996), S. novi-belgii is considered as one of the most frequently occurring aster species in central Europe. Moreover, it belongs to these few exotic herbaceous perennials which are extensively naturalised in Britain and “demonstrate the breadth of morphological and reproductive strategies inherent in highly invasive species” as stated by Hitchmough and Woudstra (1999).
Symphyotrichum is a genus of about 90 species of herbaceous plants in the family Asteraceae that were formerly treated within the genus Aster. The genus Aster historically included nearly 600 species in Eurasia and North America. A more recent treatment of the genus (Nesom, 1994) narrows its circumscription to about 180 species, almost all from Eurasia, with the North American species being moved to other related genera. The Eurasian species are characterized by larger sized and more symmetrically shaped chromosomes and the generally larger, 2-sided, glandular achenes.
They have been cultivated since the 17th century (Hoffmann, 1996) and today many species of this large genus, including a high number of cultivars, are used in horticulture. Only Symphyotrichum lanceolatum [formerly Aster lanceolatus] and S. novi-belgii are considered to be widely naturalized in central Europe (Meusel and Jager, 1992). In considering the earliest possible date of the arrival of Aster at Wicken region (UK), it should be taken into account that Asters were introduced from eastern North America from 1633 onwards, with S. novi-belgii being brought into cultivation about 1710 (Wheldon, 1919; Green, 1974). It was first observed in the wild in Belgium in 1865 (BFIS, 2010). (Source: www.cabi.org)