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Luminescent, light pink flowers.

Aster (Symphyotrichum) Cotton Candy

A medium sized aster, Cotton Candy is pink and white on the same plant. Flowers begin the palest pink and fade to a brigher, deeper pink during the season, making a two-toned effect and a stunning combination.

‘Cotton Candy’ has a larger, broader mounding habit than its progeny cultivars ‘Billowing Pink’ and ‘Billowing Violet’, with three-year-old in-ground plants growing to 28 inches tall and 48 inches wide and four-year-old in-ground plants growing to 33 inches tall and 63 inches wide. It will therefore require slightly greater spacing and may be more suitable toward the back of perennial beds. The inflorescences are a light pink-violet color, 1½ inches in diameter, and cover plants completely during peak bloom. The six-week bloom period of ‘Cotton Candy’ is intermediate between its progeny cultivars, lasting from mid-September to late October in USDA Zone 5.

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Please note: Download hi-res photos from the photo gallery at the bottom of the page.

Who Am I?

  • Common Name

    Cotton Candy aster
  • Botanical Name

    Symphyotrichum oblongifolioum 'Cotton Candy' PP34580
  • Type

  • US Native?

  • Origin

    In 2008, a more formal aster improvement program was initiated at the Chicago Botanic Garden using cultivars of aromatic aster (S. oblongifolium) and New England aster (S. novae-angliae) that performed well in the plant evaluation program’s trials along with other promising selections. Breeding of aromatic aster (S. oblongifolium) resulted in the cultivar ‘Cotton Candy’, which was subsequently used as the seed parent in crosses made in September 2012 with pooled pollen of hybrid origin. This cross led to the development of the cultivars ‘Billowing Pink’ and ‘Billowing Violet’.

  • Bloom Time

    Late summer
  • Bloom Color

    Pink and white

Cultural Details

  • Bloom Time

    Late summer
  • Size

    36" tall by 60" wide
  • Hardiness Zone

  • Light

    Full sun
  • Soil

    Moist, but well-drained, fairly adaptable to many soils
  • Moisture

    Drought tolerant once established
  • Disease & Pests

    Excellent resistance to rust and powdery mildew. Deer and rabbit proof.
  • Landscape Use

    Borders, foundations, mass plantings, matrix plantings, naturalized gardens, commercial plantings
  • Propagation

    Softwood Cuttings

Available Photos

Hover over images to download hi-res files.