Symphyotrichum praealtum 'Miss Bessie' (Asteraceae)
Around Halloween, buds of Aster 'Miss Bessie' open into hundreds (thousands?) of 1" medium purple, star-like blooms, floating at 4' and weaving with the tops of ornamental grasses. Bloom lasts for three weeks through several light frosts, and is an incredible late treat in the garden. Fat bumblebees spend the month of November nectaring all day and sleeping at night on the blooms. 'Miss Bessie' spreads vigorously, so plant her in the meadow or back of the border with plenty of space to run, and pull out unwanted shoots in spring. A foundling in a Deep South garden, 'Miss Bessie' is of questionable parentage. Native?
Bloom color: purple
Bloom period: late-fall
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