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 delavayi Franch.
Aster vilmorinii Franch.pp
Erigeron delavayi (Franch.) Botschantz.
Erigeron diplostephioides (DC.) Botschantz.
Heterochaeta diplostephioides DC.
Close-up of the flower
Photograph by: peganum
Aster diplostephioides is a herbaceous, perennial plant with a robust, branched rhizome. It forms a cluster of erect, unbranched stems 13 - 57cm tall[
The plant is harvested fom the wild for local use as a medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens, there are some named forms.
E. Asia - Himalayas from northern Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and China
Alpine and subalpine grasslands, rich or wet alpine meadows, scrub, boggy areas, stream banks, floodplains, seepage areas in coniferous or mixed forests; at elevations from 2,700 - 4,600 metres[
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Beetles, Lepidoptera, Self
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Succeeds in most good garden soils[
], preferring one that is well-drained and moisture retentive[
]. Prefers a sunny position[
A very ornamental plant[
], it grows well in a rock garden[
Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
This plant is said to have medicinal properties, but no details were given in the report[
The flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency[
]. Antidote, febrifuge, haemostatic and tonic, they are used in the treatment of infectious fevers, influenza, nose bleeds, poisoning, sores from environmental poisoning and an inability to stretch or contract the limbs[
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[
]. Germination usually takes place within 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[