Contributed by Ginny Oakes

On March 31, 2018

A welcome guest

What makes a welcome guest? Someone who’s good company, who makes themselves at home but stays close by and doesn’t start wandering about the house, who mucks in and helps whenever needed and who leaves without fuss when the time comes. Sound about right? If so then Erigeron karvinskianus is a very welcome guest.

I seem to remember that I found it difficult to get going and I have read that others have had the same experience. But once it finds a niche, it’s with you for good. It seeds around but I’ve found it takes time to travel very far and, most importantly, the seedlings are easy to recognize and easy to remove – except in paving, of course, but then everything is difficult to remove from paving.

Erigeron karvinskianus is native to South America from Mexico to Panama but has naturalized in many places in the world. It is a perennial, forming mounds up to 25cm. with attractive narrow leaves and wiry stems carrying small daisy flower heads, white fading to pink as they age. It loses its leaves in the winter and the RHS advises cutting back to the base in the autumn. I must admit that I leave the brown stems on until the late winter or spring to protect the new young shoots – well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

It will grow in walls, at the front of a border, in cracks in paving and steps, in containers and will even scramble up nearby shrubs. I think it will grow just about anywhere – a real treasure and a very welcome guest. It received an RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.



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