Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Callistephus, the Custom Aster of China

Callistephus (pronounced /kæˈlɪstɨfəs/) is a genus of flowering plants, in the Asteraceae (daisy family); the genus includes only one species, C. chinensis, the China Aster.

It is native to China, and is an annual plant, growing to 20-80 cm tall with branched stems. The leaves are alternate, 4-8 cm long, ovate, and coarsely toothed. The flowerheads are variable, with either all ray florets or an outer ring of ray florets surrounding central disc florets; the ray florets are white to purple, the disc florets, if present, usually yellow.

It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens, and numerous cultivars are available; the cultivars are grouped by size, with very dwarf (up to 20 cm), dwarf (20-40 cm), intermediate (40-60 cm) and tall (60-80 cm). In Japan, the species is very important in the floriculture industry for cut flowers.


See also: Florist, Florists, Flower

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