North Carolina Botanical Gardens

Wildflower of the Year

Maryland golden-aster named 2018 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year

Chapel Hill – Maryland golden-aster (Chrysopsis mariana), a cheerful member of the Asteraceae (Sunflower Family) common throughout the southeastern United States, has been named the 2018 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year by the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) and the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc.

Maryland golden-aster, a familiar sight on North Carolina roadsides from the mountains to the coast, can be found in well-drained open woods and dry forests. Beginning in mid-summer and lasting through mid- fall, Maryland golden-aster brightens the landscape with clusters of brilliant, golden-yellow daisy flowers atop loosely branched, upright plants.

Versatile, hardy, and easy to grow, Maryland golden-aster is the perfect choice for folks new to gardening with native species. Plant it in a native perennial border or meadow garden with butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), asters (Symphyotrichum spp.), and hairgrass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) for a bright splash of color. With its long bloom time and showy fluffy seed heads, Maryland golden-aster is sure to provide plenty of interest and enjoyment in your garden across multiple seasons.

For a Wildflower of the Year brochure and packet of Maryland golden-aster seeds, send a stamped, self- addressed, business envelope with attention to NCWFOY 2018 to North Carolina Botanical Garden, UNC– Chapel Hill, CB 3375, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375.

The NCBG and the Garden Club of North Carolina work together to promote the use of native plants in home gardens. Each year since 1982, a showy, native perennial has been chosen and seeds of that wildflower have been distributed to interested gardeners. To view a list of the past 36 North Carolina Wildflowers of the Year, visit the Garden’s website: ncbg.unc.edu/north-carolina-wildflower-of-the-year.

The NCBG, part of the University of North Carolina, is a 1,000-acre assemblage of display gardens and natural areas. The Garden celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and is nationally known as a center for the study, display, interpretation and conservation of plants. Through its educational, recreational, therapeutic horticulture and research programs, it extends opportunities for connection with nature to people of all abilities and backgrounds. The Garden is open Tuesday through Saturday and admission is free. Information at http://ncbg.unc.edu.

The Garden Club of North Carolina includes approximately 265 garden clubs with over 6,500 individual members throughout North Carolina. As a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., this organization is active at national, state, and local levels in promoting gardening and horticulture, environmental improvements in urban areas, and protection of natural resources.