Generic delimitation in Astereae has long been a source of disagreement among botanists. The ways in which they treat the large and diverse genus Aster usually reflect their philosophy on generic concepts, and although there are many variations, in general there have historically been two schools of thought. The first approach maintains a very inclusive generic concept of a large genus Aster, with subdivision of the genus into several subgenera. The second approach was to segregate many distinctive small genera from Aster, thus adopting a narrow generic concept As a result of new in-depth studies of phenotype features and, more recently, DNA sequences, combined with reasonably strict adherence to the tenets of phylogenetic systematics, the genus Aster is now much more narrowly and more naturally defined than before. Consequently many of the species formerly accepted in a looser definition of that genus have now been transferred to several more narrowly defined genera.
Aster auriculatus is a herbaceous, perennial plant with more or less woody rhizomes. The erect, unbranched stems are 23 - 90cm tall, the plant rarely forming clumps[
The plant is harvested from the wild for medicinal use.
E. Asia - southern China (Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan)
Open forests, mixed forests, thickets, grasslands; at elevations from 800 - 3,000 metres[
Species in this genus generally succeed in most good garden soils[
], preferring one that is well-drained and moisture retentive[
]. Prefers a sunny position[
Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
The plant, but especially the root, is used to reduce phlegm and treat snakebites[
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[