California Aster, also called Common Sand Aster or Sandaster, is a member of the Daisy family. Its blooms range from white to cornflower blue to lavender. It is endangered and should be considered for every drought tolerant garden.
California Aster is picky about its habitat. It grows best on rocky hillsides or slopes. It’s a great choice for a rock garden or a hardscape. A landscaper can build a suitable sloping area in your yard if your property is flat. This will create visual interest and allow you to create a terraced garden with plants and flowers at different heights.
If you have a hillside property, this flower is perfect for you. If necessary, we can add a rocky soil mixture to your existing soil to make a better environment for this Aster.
Native and Endangered
California Aster is classified as a rare plant. Its habitat has been decimated by construction, especially road construction. Adding this plant to your drought tolerant garden will help keep it recover. It requires a bit more care than the average drought resistant flower, but it’s worth it to preserve the plant, add beauty to your garden and attract pollinators.
Caring for This Endangered Plant
• Soil: While this plant can grow in sand and clay, it’s healthiest and looks its best when planted in rocky soil.
• Water: You may read that this plant needs twice-monthly summer water. We do not recommend summer water. Too much water causes leaf loss and poor bloom production. This flower grows best on hillsides due to the excellent soil drainage.
• Pruning: This plant should be cut back after the seeds drop. We recommend deadheading during the summer to fall blooming season to encourage new flower growth.
• Scientific name: The correct scientific name of this plant is Corethrogyne filaginifolia. This Aster is often confused with Aster chilensis because both are called by the common name California Aster. Care requirements for each plant differ, so make sure you know which one you have.
In Your Garden
This is a tall plant (up to three feet) that can have weak stems. It’s best to give it some type of support. That support can come from other, stronger plants, stakes or boulders in your rock garden.
A healthy plant will have pale blue and deep lavender flowers on the same stem. You can see its resemblance to other plants in the Daisy family in its prominent yellow center. Petals are long, slender and curl back as the flower starts to go to seed. The leaves are long, pointed and true green, growing in pairs up the stem.
Birds, butterflies and insects are dependent on this flower, making it all the more important to cultivate this plant.
Things to Remember:
• This is an endangered plant in need of new habitats
• Rocky soil is a necessity for healthy plants
• Consult your landscaper regarding summer water
Successfully cultivating an endangered plant requires the assistance of an experienced landscaper. Contact us to become a protector of the California Aster.