Sunday, January 13, 2013

Aster Yellow disease

I was reading Garden In A City this week and noticed he kept mentioning Aster Yellows infecting his echinacea, thereby requiring the removal of all of his coneflowers. Oh, an invasive yellow aster plant, I thought? Let me Google that.

No, it's apparently a disease, and one with no known treatment except to rip out the plants and destroy them.  According to this site, symptoms in coneflowers include "replacement of flowers by tufts of small, green, deformed leaves."

Image courtesy of

Ah yes. I've seen that before, in my neighbor M's yard. We were looking at them this summer and trying to remember if she'd planted a double coneflower there, because we didn't know why they looked so funny. And if memory serves me correctly, I had a couple of them in my front yard this year. 

I've emailed my neighbor to let her know what I found, and it looks like I have some digging to do in the spring. I'm not sure why I've had all sorts of problems this year - hollyhock rust, aster yellows, the annihliation of my rose bush. Maybe it's time to really look into more native plants. 

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