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Description

The Beach aster is native to coastal sand dunes and bluffs from Oregon to Southern California. It is a low mounding perennial species that grows 10-12 in. high and spreads to 2 ft. across. Flowers are purple with yellow centers and occur from spring into summer.

Beach aster has proven to be an easy to grow flowering perennial that performs best for 3-5 years before it looses good garden character. When planted in warmer and drier areas of the Inland Empire, it needs protection from extreme heat and sun, and additional summer water to avoid prolonged drought stress and maintain good character. Both flowers and foliage are very attractive and a variety of horticultural cultivars can be found from local nurseries. Some of the cultivars that can be found include: E. g. 'Arthur Menzies' is a small plant with lavender-pink flowers and a compact form that grows up to 8 in. high, 12-15 in. across; E. g. 'Cape Sebastian' is a dense mounding cultivar to 6 in. high and 2-3 ft. wide with lavender flowers; E. g. 'Sea Breeze' grows with a compact habit to 12 in. high and produces deep pink-magenta flowers; and E. g. 'Wayne Roderick' grows to 12 in. high, 2 ft. wide and has light magenta flowers.

Water Needs

The beach aster easily grows in Inland empire gardens when planted in areas that receive afternoon shade and when sustained with periodic summer water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water and you should make irrigation adjustments based of field observations of growth and character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

 
0"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
2"-3"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
2"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Mounding, Compact
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 10 in. - 12 in.
Width: 24 in.
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Lavender
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Morning sun, Fog, Drought, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Mass planting, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Commercial spaces, Borders, Banks, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces

Maintenance

Cut back hard (to approximately 2" high) in November (2). This can be done either annually or every 2-3 years (6).

References

Associations

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