Marianne Mueller, PADG


Botanical Name: 
Aster chilensis
(ASS-ter chil-EN-sis)
Common Name: 
California Aster
Plant Type: 
Mature Size: 
2 ft. to 3 ft. wide and 18 in. to 3 ft. tall
Water Requirements: 
Very Low: water deeply several times a summer
Sun/Shade Requirements: 
Full to half sun
Flower Color : 
Purple, pale blue or white
Attracts butterflies

This California native is a low growing, late summer bloomer that shines when much of the garden is quiet. It works well in the front of a low water perennial bed or native plant border.

Calfornia aster looks better if regularly deadheaded. After it is done blooming in the fall, we recommend shearing it back to to the ground to keep a tidy look in the garden. The plant will cheerfully return when winter is over.

California aster was a new plant in the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden and we found that it spread very rapidly even without supplemental water. We have removed it from the native plant bed. It might work better in a situation where a rapidly spreading plant is needed for erosion control rather than in a small, mixed perennial bed.