The Star of Asters August 22, 2007
Aster means star in Greek, and this well loved wildflower may well be the star of the Aster family. Its bright violet flower rays radiate out from the golden-yellow center. Asters can be difficult to sort, but this is one everyone can learn and enjoy. The color alone makes it a standout, but when you consider the sheer size of each flower head, it becomes even more memorable. Add the many toothless clasping leaves, on a hairy stem, makes a positive ID for the Symphyotrichum novae-angliae New England Aster, the older name you might recognize is Aster novae-angliae.
Not much else to say, as this one speaks for itself. Full sun, part sun, moderate moisture to moist; meadows or prairies; in sandy, loamy soil it can reach 6-7 foot tall. One of our most beautiful fall asters that can easily put those florist mums to shame. This is one aster you will want all over your yard. And asters are the host plant for Pearl Crescents, a lovely little butterfly. What could be better than that? Let's lobby to get it on a "Life is Good" t-shirt. Weed- on!