This genus is a good addition to any border because of the late autumn flowering season. Some varieties will even bloom into December, given mild weather. All make excellent cut flowers.
There are some 20 hardy perennial species to be found growing wild in Europe and central and East Asia. There are also a great number of varieties bred for exhibition and cut flower, which need winter protection.
The hardy border varieties grow best in a sunny spot and require a free-draining soil, which is ideally fertile and slightly alkaline.