Aster Amellus ‘King George’

This photo of Aster amellus “King George” is from

TheGardenLady received this question from Doug.

I am particularly interested in the “perennial Aster amellus ‘King George.’”. As I was informed by my grandmother that her father had cultivated this or a similar plant. Please could you provide me with any information you have on the subject. (her maiden name was “White” from “Crayfoots Haven” in Kent)

There are many perennial Asters. Aster amellus ‘King George” is an Italian aster, a reliable old cultivar that has prolific lovely large violet/blue-purple daisylike flowers that grow in clumps blooming in August, September and perhaps October. I believe this is the aster that has the common name Michaelmas Daisy.

King George aster is a very popular variety in the United Kingdom.  The Royal Horticultural Society had given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) and it seems to be sold all over the UK, but whether they ship outside the UK is the question – some of the sites said they no longer sold them outside the European Community. See here. TheGardenLady has not found “King George” for sale on line in the US, perhaps because of its being an older variety.

Blooming Nursery, a wholesale only nursery in Oregon, used to carry them, but I don’t think I saw it listed in their most recent list of plants. If you live in the US and want the King George, call Blooming Nursery to see if they know where you might purchase the plants.

There are other amellus aster varieties that you might be able to find in the states, some as seeds.  See here.

All amellus aster varieties are drought-tolerant and like well-drained soil. This makes them useful in drier gardens where later-flowering North American asters fail to thrive. They will grow in all soil types and all soil pH. They do like well-drained soil. The King George variety seems to be mildew resistant, very easy to grow and remains short.  See here.

If you are growing them in the US they can be grown in zones 5-8 (some amellus asters grow in zone 4) in sunny and part sunny areas. See here.

You might know someone who has aster amellus ‘King George’ who will divide the plant and give you some or you might contact a plant exchange like Dave’s Garden to see if you can get it that way. If you are able to find this aster for sale, please let TheGardenLady readers know where the nursery is that sells the plant.

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