Seed of the Week: Asters

February 15, 2013 – 11:24 am

The fall-blooming plant that produced the mystery seeds from last week is an aster, which can belong to the genus Aster or Symphyotrichum.

Many asters have purple or white flowers. The New England aster is a perennial favorite that grows along roadsides in the eastern part of North America.

Here’s another that grows in Arizona.

It has shorter ray flowers, or what are commonly called petals.

This one has fewer, longer ray flowers. There are many species and cultivated varieties of asters.


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Best job 2

The next Monday I reported for work and loaded up my Econoline van with thousands of packets of vegetable seeds and headed out into the world to stock the seed racks in mom-and-pop grocery stores (they still had those in 1956), local hardware stores and an occasional supermarket.
Knowing absolutely nothing about gardening, I took great delight in stocking the racks with the greatest variety of the most interesting looking seed packets. No one told me that watermelon does not grow in western Washington. So the city of Bellingham, which is a cool, wet coastal town had six varieties of watermelon, some of which grow no farther north than Arkansas

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