October Blues

Cool blue-purple 'Raydon's Favorite' conspires with Indian grass to impart a lavender tinge to my slag driveway. I like it!

It has been a while since I posted an update about my new street-side (formerly driveway) bed.

Things are coming along quite well considering the harsh growing conditions.

Right now the stars of the show are an aromatic aster variety called ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ (Symphyotrichum oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’) and a striking blue Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans).  Both are first year plants and, considering that, are creating an amazing display.

I have grown the straight species aromatic aster for years and it is a fine plant.  This selection seems to have a more prolific flower display with flowers that are a little larger.

My research indicates that ‘Raydon’s Favorite was first sold by Allen Bush at Holbrook Farms.  Bush received a piece of the plant from Raydon Alexander of San Antonio, Texas.  The accompanying note stated that this aster was Raydon’s favorite.   Mr. Alexander believed that the plant originated near Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

The Indian grass is a seedling from a Mississippi Black Belt Prairie remnant.

Indian grass is one of my favorite native grasses.   It has a striking upright growth habit. Foliage is often bluish and the flower clusters are copper colored.

This was a lucky pairing.   These two blue /purple companions are the coolest combo in my October garden.


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5 Responses to“October Blues”

  1. yardflow says:

    People here take it for granted, Scott. I just drove past the most beautiful blooming stand of Indian grass on I-59 today. The sun hit is just right. The flowers were glowing and the mowers were approaching.

  2. Scott Weber says:

    Beautiful combination! I dearly wish I could grow Indian Grass out here…our cooler temps and wet springs make them so susceptible to flopping over later in the year 🙁

  3. kaywehrmann says:

    Hi, Very inspiring hearing of your collecting of fall offerings for wedding flowers. I live in Jax.Fl and have been noting where to collect pyracantha,solidago,beautyberries,chinaberries,ferns grasses even red leaves of virginia creeper-some of our fall color in north Florida. My daughter is getting married this weekend Thursday and are my collection days. I love getting stuff out of trees and ditches… Thanks for the Ive done this story!

  4. yardflow says:

    The straight species aromatic aster definitely spreads. It is good to know that ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ does well in the Delta, Alice. I looked up distribution of this species and USDA only has it occurring in one Mississippi county. It is in the northeast but can’t remember the county name.

  5. Alice Permenter says:

    I planted ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ in my perennial border about 7 years ago and it has flourished. After about 3 years, it grew over 5 feet wide so I decided I’d better do a little dividing. Now I have 4 clumps of it that all spread to 3 feet this year and bloomed beautifully. This aster performs well in the MS Delta, where other asters fail to thrive.

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