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Callistephus - China Aster

Callistephus is in Asteraceae (the daisy family) and has only one species, C. chinensis, the China Aster, which is native to China. The species was moved from Aster to Callistephus, but is still often referred to as Aster chinensis. It is an annual plant growing to 2080 cm tall with branched stems. The leaves are alternate, 48 cm long, ovate, and coarsely toothed. The larger flowerheads are variable, with either all ray florets or an outer ring of ray florets surrounding central disc florets; The flowers come in a variety of colors from white to purple. It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens, with many cultivars. Cultivated varieties are grouped by plants size, with very dwarf (up to 20 cm), dwarf (2040 cm), intermediate (4060 cm) and tall (6080 cm). They make great cut flowers. The seeds are good sized and easy to sow, they germinate quickly, and the seedlings have a good growth rate.