Aster macrophyllus L.
Aster multiformis E.S.Burgess
Aster riciniatus E.S.Burgess
Biotia latifolia DC.
Biotia macrophylla (L.) DC.
Eurybia jussiei Cass.
Common Name: Bigleaf Aster
Eurybia macrophylla is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing 15 - 110cm tall from a branched, rhizomatous rootstock. The roots spread freely, sending up erect, unbranched, single stems at intervals, often forming extensive, dense colonies[
More known as an ornamental plant that can be used as a ground cover, the plant has traditionally been used as a food and a medicine.
Central and Eastern N. America - Manitoba to Nova Scotia, south to Tennessee and Georgia.
Moist to dry soils, hemlock-northern hardwoods, beech-maple or pine forests, Appalachian spruce-fir forests, aspen, pine or open spruce woodlands, thickets, clearings, shaded roadsides; at elevations up to 1,300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|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[
]. Succeeds in dry soils in the shade[
]. Grows well in light woodland shade[
], succeeding amongst the roots of other plants[
Plants are hardy to about -25°c[
The plant has an invasive root system and can spread freely when well sited[
Slugs are fond of this plant and have destroyed even quite large clumps by eating out all the new growth in spring[
Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
A very variable plant with many different forms[
], it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
Very young leaves - cooked and used as a vegetable[
]. The leaves are said to act as a medicine as well as a food, though no details are given[
]. Only young leaves are eaten as old leaves quickly become tough[
Roots - cooked. They have been used in soups[
The roots have been used as a blood medicine[
]. An infusion of the root has been used to bathe the head to treat headaches[
A compound decoction of the roots has been used as a laxative in the treatment of venereal disease[
Plants can be used as a ground cover in light shade, forming a dense, spreading clump[
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[
]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whist smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.