Many asters aren't good vase candidates because they wilt too quickly when cut. But there are a couple of notable exceptions. Aster cordifolius 'Little Carlow', which we grew in Sunset's test garden last year, has become one of our favorites. It's the plant responsible for the cloud of small lavender flowers pictured above. Another aster we like is A. cordifolius 'Cape Cod', which produces long sprays of small, single white flowers. Both grow 3 to 4 feet tall.
These asters make excellent backdrops for larger flowers in bouquets, but we also like letting them shine on their own ― toward the fronts of borders or in small, densely planted beds.
Like most asters, 'Cape Cod' and 'Little Carlow' are easy to grow. Both prefer full sun, but 'Little Carlow' tolerates light shade. Both grow in Sunset climate zones 1-10, 14-21.
Our asters came from Canyon Creek Nursery in Northern California (530/533-2166).