The Beach aster is native to coastal sand dunes and bluffs from Oregon to Southern California. It is a low mounding perennial species that grows 10-12 in. high and spreads to 2 ft. across. Flowers are purple with yellow centers and occur from spring into summer.
Beach aster has proven to be an easy to grow flowering perennial that performs best for 3-5 years before it looses good garden character. When planted in warmer and drier areas of the Inland Empire, it needs protection from extreme heat and sun, and additional summer water to avoid prolonged drought stress and maintain good character. Both flowers and foliage are very attractive and a variety of horticultural cultivars can be found from local nurseries. Some of the cultivars that can be found include: E. g. ‘Arthur Menzies’ is a small plant with lavender-pink flowers and a compact form that grows up to 8 in. high, 12-15 in. across; E. g. ‘Cape Sebastian’ is a dense mounding cultivar to 6 in. high and 2-3 ft. wide with lavender flowers; E. g. ‘Sea Breeze’ grows with a compact habit to 12 in. high and produces deep pink-magenta flowers; and E. g. ‘Wayne Roderick’ grows to 12 in. high, 2 ft. wide and has light magenta flowers.