USEFULYARD

In Bloom: Mönch Aster

This is Aster × frikartii ‘Monch’, in my front yard on July 4. I tried to grow Douglas aster from seed this year, wanting a native wildflower but also a hit of purple. Nothing came up. So in May I bought a few of these plants from the nursery. The photo captures the first bloom.

Three kinds of Frikart asters are Great Plant Picks, all known for their long bloom time, from July to October. But despite its reliability, ‘Mönch’ is not one of the 101 asters included in Timber Press’s Guide to Asters book. Bred almost 100 years ago, perhaps it’s too common compared with the seemingly unlimited choice of asters now on the market. No matter, it looks perfect.