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Did you know this was an aster? That's right, old favorite Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum, aka Eutrochium purpureum, zones 4 to 9) is one of the tallest members of the aster clan, and you've probably been enjoying it since the dog days of summer. Joe Pye likes damp soil and sun, and can grow as large as 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide. You'll find lots of great varieties for sale; 'Gateway' and the shorter 'Little Joe' are two.
One plant that doesn't get much play but is adored by those in the know is helenium (Helenium autumnale hybrids and cultivars, zones 4 to 8). This genus blooms in that summer-to-fall period in hot colors that somehow manage to mesh well with most others. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. This cultivar is called 'Fiesta'.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Dietzel
Even though its name says otherwise, false aster (Boltonia asteroides var. latisquama and cultivars, zones 4 to 9) is most definitely in the aster family tree. I have a love-hate relationship with often-floppy false aster, but I'm always happy to see its tiny shasta daisy-like flowers in fall. Where flopping is a concern, these plants can be pruned to half their height in early summer to make them stronger, or planted among neighbors to bolster them. They grow 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. The shorter cultivar 'Jim Crockett' is said to be less flopilicious.
The last aster family member here isn't even a plant we grow much for flowers, but for foliage. Ajania (ajania pacifica, zones 5 to 9), also called silver and gold chrysanthemum, is one of my all-time-favorite plants. This vigorous, easy-to-grow plant asks only sun and well-drained soil, and its handsome silvery, white-edged leaves are a treat all season. Bright yellow button flowers are usually the last to appear before frost comes.