Plant Study of Showy Aster

August 15, 2014 – 12:29 am

Alpine AsterPlant Study of Showy Aster
Sunflower Family • Aster spectabilis

Introductory Note from the Flower Essence Society

We were very grateful to receive Jack Braunstein's plant study of the Showy Aster (Aster spectabilis). During the last ten years we have conducted research on a related species, Alpine Aster (Aster alpigenus, pictured on the right), which grows in the higher altitudes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Jack's insights coincide with many of the qualities which we correlated with the Aster, providing a very helpful contribution to our research program.

The Aster is a member of the Composite family of plants, known for their well-defined physical structures and strong integrative features. The flowers are described as composite because hundreds of tiny ray and disk florets weave together with incredible geometric precision to create one unified field of flowers in each blossom of the plant. Thus many of the flower essences in the plant family have qualities of strength, immunity and integration, particularly how the core Self is able to express and stabilize itself. Examples include Sunflower, Echinacea, Arnica, Yarrow and Shasta Daisy.

Within the vast array of composites, the Aster is unique for its delicate lavender/purple color, suggesting a manner in which these core aspects of the Self are brought to a very high spiritual level of expression. The Aster flower essence appears to stimulate this higher spiritual consciousness, helping the individual "to sound their truth, " as Jack noted. The Aster is named for its star-like physical form, and indeed, it seems as though this Star of Self comes to play in one's destiny more actively, helping the individual to awaken to and attract relationships and levels of understanding that might have previously been dormant. The Aster is one of the flower essences that seems particularly capable of stimulating the dream life, and the consciousness of the Self beyond physical form. have found very helpful for the soul when in the process of dying. Society members can access more information on the Alpine Aster by logging on to the members' pages of this Web site.

The Showy Aster

Words and Illustrations
Jack Braunstein

This particular aster is growing near a creek that is stagnant due to the drought. It finds good neighbors with the golden rod, peppermint, St. John's wort and a type of thistle. I see all grow together on hillsides with sandy soil. All are presently in bloom, too.


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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.
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