Wildflower of the Year

The North Carolina Botanical Garden has picked the white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata) as Wildflower of the Year for 2008. This low-maintenance perennial flower will brighten semi-shady spots in late summer. A profusion of 1-inch, white starry flowers are borne on wiry, black stems. White wood aster is a ground-hugger, usually under 2 feet, and its stems sprawl in zig-zagging fashion. Plant it where it can weave itself among other late-blooming shrubs and wildflowers. Its readiness to naturalize also makes it a good woodland groundcover. Well-drained, organically rich soil is ideal, but white wood aster will adapt to a range of environmental conditions.

To receive free seeds of white wood aster along with growing instructions, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: 2008 NCWFOY, North Carolina Botanical Garden, CB 3375 Totten Center, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375. The Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of North Carolina Inc. are co-sponsors of the Wildflower of the Year program, now in its 26th year. The project's aim is to actively promote an attractive plant that is native to the southeastern United States.

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