Botanical Name: Aster amellus
Species: A. amellus
Synonyms: Aster elegans Nees
Common Names: Ialian Aster,European Michaelmas daisy
Habitat: Aster amellus is native to Europe through E. Asia. This plant is present on the European mountains from the Pyrenees and the Alps to the Carpathians. Outside Europe it is located in western Asia (Turkey), the Caucasus, Siberia, South Asia (Uttarakhand, India) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan). It grows on Scrub and wood margins. Marshy places and lake sides, mainly on limestone soils.
Aster amellus is a perennial plant. It reaches on average a height of 20–50 centimetres (7.9–19.7 in). The stem is erect and branched, the leaves are dark green. The basal leaves are obovate and petiolated, the cauline ones are alternate and sessile, increasingly narrower and lanceolate. It is in flower from September to October, and the seeds ripen in October. The hermaphroditic flowers are either self-fertilized (autogamy) or pollinated by insects (entomogamy). The seeds are an achene that ripens in October. The plant is self-fertile.
Succeeds in most good garden soils, preferring one that is well-drained and moisture retentive. Tolerates poorer soils. Prefers a sunny position but also succeeds in part shade. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. A polymorphic species, it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.
Through Seed – surface sow in spring in a cold frame. Do not allow the compost to become dry. Pre-chilling the seed for two weeks can improve germination rates. The seed usually germinates in 2 weeks at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn.
Leaves and young plants are edible – cooked and eaten. Only certain varieties (not specified in the report) are used. A nutritional analysis is available.
The roots are anti-inflammatory, antitussive, depurative, haemostatic and pectoral.They are used in the treatment of coughs, pulmonary affections and malaria. The root juice is used internally in Nepal to treat indigestion and externally to treat boils.
Aster, being used as a ‘cover crop’ in farm fields, is providing habitat and late-season food for pollinators. Asters have a rich history. They are also known as the Michaelmas daisy for their tendency to bloom around the autumn equinox, which coincides with the feast of St, Michael.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.