Aster oblongifolius 'Raydon's Favorite' (Aromatic Aster) - Qt Super Plugs$8.98
Growing in a nice 2-3 foot mound and blooming in Mid to Late Autumn, Aromatic Aster is a great plant for the garden.
Aromatic Aster ranges across the Great Plains, but can also be found in the Appalachian Mountains from Tennessee to Pennsylvania. Aromatic aster is usually found in alkaline to slightly acidic, gravelly meadows and prairies.
The variety 'Raydon's Favorite' is an exceptionally nice cultivar of Aromatic Aster, featuring a more compact habit and darker flower color. This variety is also more floriferous than the straight species.
'Raydon's Favorite' was originally introduced in to horticulture through Raydon Alexander, a gardener from San Antonio. This variety has been grown in Southern Texas for years, almost becoming a garden heirloom - Alexander sent some to Allen Bush who owned Holbrook Farm and Nursery, stating that it was his favorite fall-blooming aster.
Though it had been grown in Texas for years, it appears that the original plant matches up with strains of Aromatic Aster from East Tennessee; a gardener must have noted a particulary nice specimen and brought it back to Texas. A strain growing on Lookout Mountain has fairly similar characteristics, and this popular tourist destination may very well be the original source of 'Raydon's Favorite' aster. The whole story can be read here: https://www.gardenrant.com/2016/03/when-the-aster-hitched-a-ride.html
'Raydon's Favorite' aromatic aster is a highly useful plant. It has a bloom similar to New England Aster, but unlike New England Aster it doesn't get leggy or flop over.
Aromatic Aster is a great shrub-like perennial to include in a minimal-maintenance landscape, especially for fall color. Combined with other fall-blooming perennials like 'Fireworks' goldenrod, this plant is a great way to end the growing season.
Aromatic Aster blooms very late in the season, offering nectar and pollen for pollinators and migrating butterflies. The plants are fairly deer and rabbit resistant, and can take drought and gravelly soils without issue.
How to Grow Raydon's Favorite Aromatic Aster
Aromatic Aster is very easy to grow, able to take crippling heat and humidity, bone-numbing winter cold, heavy rain, droughts - The only thing Aromatic Aster can't handle is heavy, waterlogged soils.
Space 'Raydon's Favorite' aster 30 inches apart in average garden soil, and the clumps will come back for years, brightening up the Late Fall Garden.
We currently sell 'Raydon's Favorite' aromatic aster in Quart SuperPlugs; these degradable fabric pots can be planted directly in the ground, completely eliminating transplant shock.