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Sea aster

(Aster tripolium )

Sea aster © Laurie Campbell

Sea aster © Laurie Campbell


Bursting with colour, asters have been stars of British gardens since Elizabethan times (quite literally, as the name is Greek for 'Star').

Most varieties you see were imported from America. The sea aster, however, is a native that adds a splash of vibrant purple and yellow to our coasts.

Distribution

Sea aster can be found scattered across the coast of the UK, although it is much sparser in the north-east of Scotland.

Habitat

Often found in salt-marshes and estuaries and occasionally on cliffs. Sea aster is scattered throughout the British coast, although is absent from parts of north-east Scotland.

Best time to see

Flowers from July to October.

Did you know?

Asters are also known as Michaelmas daisies due to their late flowering period. Sea Asters particularly are a valuable source of nectar for late butterflies like the Red Admiral. This fact may also explain a traditional name given in Dorset and Somerset: Summer's Farewell.