California Aster

Although this plant does not currently grow on More Mesa, it is normally found in coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, grassland, and chaparral communities. More Mesa has a mixture of coastal sage scrub, grassland and oak woodland type vegetation in addition to riparian. California Aster is a very common plant and was most certainly present on More Mesa before farming activities changed the vegetation.

California Aster can be a very useful and extremely attractive ground cover. With minimum watering, the leaves are turquoise-green throughout the year, and a multitude of small pink flowers bloom in late summer and early fall. The flowers are visited by a variety of butterflies including skippers.The plant grows to a maximum height of about 6 to 9 inches while spreading out to form a hardy ground cover.

The scientific name, Lessingia filaginifolia, is derived from the name of botanist Christian Friedrich Lessing.

All photos were taken in a garden close to More Mesa.