Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
The calico aster is a native of eastern North America and, although known in the trade as Aster lateriflorus, has been reclassified by taxonomists as Symphiotrichum lateriflorum. As with other name changes, this new name will, eventually, become more widely used and accepted.
‘Lady in Black’ is a selection found growing in a garden in the Netherlands (and reintroduced back to its native land). The new growth in early summer has small, but dramatic, dark-maroon leaves. From September until frost, the plant is covered with masses of tiny, daisy-like flowers with dusky-pink centers.