Aster cordifolius hybr. ‘Little Carlow’ – a bee and butterfly magnet

For some years, I have wanted to add colour to the autumn garden and it goes without saying that in a biodiversity garden, the plant of my choice had to be good for wildlife. There are huge number of plants available and I studied the Aster family. Now, with Asters that flower in autumn it has to be said that some Asters are not very attractive to butterflies at all, so please do some checking. Bombus pascuorum on Aster little carlow

Based on the colour of flowers and being highly recommended, I purchased several Aster Little Carlow, which is a hybrid of A.cordifolius and A.novi-belgii and in my garden it is a true bee magnet. As soon as the sun is out, there are tens of honeybees on this plant as well as several butterfly species, Hoverflies and Bombus pascuorum workers, the only species of Bumblebee still around apart from the queen bumblebees such as this queen Bombus hypnorum, the rapidly spreading Tree bumblebee. She is fattening up for the winter so she needs all the nectar she can gets.

Bombus hypnorum

If you have a spot in your garden, I can really recommend this easy-going,  lovely plant. The plant produces masses of small violet-blue flowers from late summer to mid-autumn. Grow to about a metre in hight so they may need staking.

Below: Hoverfly, which are also important pollinators, feeding on Asters.

Hoverfly on Aster

Below: Honeybees feeding on Asters, mostly for nectar but on this warm autumn day, I saw them collecting pollen.

Honeybee feeding on Aster little carlow


Can you see the pollen basket? Wonderful creatures, the honeybees.

Honeybee gathering pollen


The plants I bought from a nursery that uses no pesticides, an important consideration when purchasing bee plants.



About mybiodiversitygarden

Trying to raise awareness & share information about ecology and biodiversity and what gardeners can do to attract more wildlife
This entry was posted in Bees, Biodiversity, Gardening, Gardening for wildlife and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Aster cordifolius hybr. ‘Little Carlow’ – a bee and butterfly magnet

  1. solarbeez says:

    Good idea. I think I’ll see if I can get some. There’s still enough time, I hope.

  2. Good morning! They are really great plants and I have better results planting flowers in autumn. Their root system can still develop so the next year, they will flower. When planting in spring, results were less good, also because our spring months are getting drier and drier. Good luck!

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