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.
Common Name: Italian Aster
Close-up of the flowers
Photograph by: J.claude
Aster amellus is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing a dense cluster of erect stems from 30 - 70cm tall.
Widely grown as an ornamental, and fairly rare in the wild, the plant can be used as a food and a medicine.
Europe - Germany and France east to Ukraine and Greece; W. Asia - Turkey, Caucasus, Central Asia and western Siberia
Scrub and wood margins.[
] Marshy places and lake sides[
], mainly on limestone soils[
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Beetles, Lepidoptera, Self
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Plants are hardy to about -25°c[
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[
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[
Leaves and young plants - cooked[
]. 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[
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[