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California Aster
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Corethrogyne filaginifolia
  

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About California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginifolia) Corethrogyne filaginifolia (syn. Lessingia filaginifolia) is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common names common sandaster and California aster. The taxonomy of this plant and certain relatives is currently changing; recently the Corethrogynes have been grouped together under the name Lessingia filaginifolia, and then moved back to genus Corethrogyne as a single species with many synonyms. It is native to western North America from the southwestern corner of Oregon to Baja California, where it is a common member of many plant communities, including chaparral and woodlands, forests, scrub, grasslands, and the serpentine soils flora. This is a robust perennial herb or subshrub producing a simple to multibranched stem approaching a meter in maximum length or height. The densely woolly leaves are several centimeters long and toothed or lobed low on the stem and smaller farther up the stem. The flower cluster is a single flower head or array of several heads at the tips of stem branches. The head is lined with narrow, pointed, purple-tipped phyllaries which curl back as the head matures. Inside are many purple, lavender, pink, or white ray florets and a center packed with up to 120 tubular yellow disc florets. The fruit is an achene with a pappus of reddish bristles on top.

California Aster appears to do best in rocky slopes and sloping rock gardens. They often don't do as well on flat areas. On dry slopes surrounded by rocks, the plant will usually stay beautiful year round. If happy, it will often reseed and pop up in nearby rocky places. This plant is very drought tolerant if situated properly. It is not tolerant of summer water, which will often kill it after its first year. California Aster is available in nurseries primarily in low growing, spreading varieties. "Silver Carpet" is one of the most beautiful and popular.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
3 ft (0.9 m)

Max. Width
1 - 6 ft (0.3 - 1.8 m)

Form
Mounding, Spreading

Fragrance
None

Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Evergreen

Flower Color
Pink, Purple, White

Flowering Season
Summer, Fall, Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky slopes, coastal bluffs, canyons along the coast, Coast and Transverse Ranges, and foothills of the Sierras, where it occurs along with coastal sage scrub or chaparral

Sun
Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-228' - 10807'

Annual Precip. ?
5.2" - 103.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.83"

Coldest Month ?
23.4° F - 57.1° F

Hottest Month ?
46.2° F - 84.2° F

Humidity ?
0.04 vpd - 34.96 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerant of sand and clay

Soil Texture
Sand, Sandy Loam

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8, 9*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Wildlife Attracted
A variety of insects

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
3x/month
No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Mulch
Inorganic

Pruning
The spreading varieties may need annual pruning to maintain their shape. Can be deadheaded.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Lessingia filaginifolia var. californica|Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia|Lessingia filaginifolia|Corethrogyne filaginifolia var. filaginifolia|Corethrogyne filaginifolia var. linifolia|Corethrogyne filaginifolia var. incana|Corethrogyne leucophylla

Common Names
Common California Aster, Whiteleaf Sandaster, San Diego Sand Aster, San Diego Sandaster, Del Mar Mesa Sand Aster, Del Mar Mesa Sandaster, Common Sandaster, Branching Beach Aster


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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