Aster- September's Bloom

August 5, 2014 – 11:24 pm

Ah, the Aster, a wildflower native through-out the US, Europe, and Asia. September. Autumn. Chill in the air. The first whiffs of that crunchy dry leaf smell as you weed and work around in your late season garden, corralling the wild aster back with the borders of the bed. She's sweet, our September gal.

Asters get their name from an old Greek word meaning "star", referring to the shape of the flower. Also called Starworts, Michaelmas Daisies or Frost Flowers, this star-like flower can be found in a variety of colors – white, red, pink, purple, lavender and blue, with mostly yellow centers. Aster flowers are popular in many gardens for their attractive and colorful blossoms and ability to grow in all hardiness zones. Interestingly while an Aster blossom may appear to be a single flower it is not so; an Aster’s bloom is actually a combination of approximately 300 small (usually yellow) flowerets surrounded by colorful petals. They possess a Daisy-like appearance which is often deceptive as they are actually a member of the Sunflower family. If you need a blast of late season color, Aster is the gal for you.

Aster are a rich source of nectar for bees and butterflies. As they bloom during the peak of the monarch migration, they are an important waystation for our lepidopterian travellers. Because they also attract so many bees, plant them away from areas where you walk or play, especially if you have significant bee allergies. The shrubs can grow up to 3 feet tall, depending on the variety, so if you plant them away from the house you will still be able to enjoy their beauty.

Asters have long been considered an enchanted flower. Legend says that the goddess Asterea cried when she looked at the earth and saw no stars. Where her tears fell to the ground, Aster bloomed. Others believed that Asters were stardust scattered on the earth by the goddess.

And then there is the Cherokee Indian legend from the southern part of the US. Two warring tribes, fighting over a choice hunting ground, waged war over a hill, down a valley, across a creek, and into a village. All the villagers were killed except for two sisters who hid in the woods. Both wore doeskin dresses, one dyed lavender-blue with fringe, the other one bright yellow. The sisters sought out the Herb Woman who lived over the mountain in another valley. This woman gathered herbs by day and brewed magic potions by night, a gift given to her by the gods. As the sisters slept that night under the stars, the Herb Woman looked into the future and saw that these little girls would be hunted down by the enemy. So she sprinkled them with a magic brew and covered them with leaves. In the morning there were two flowers where the sisters had been. One was the lavender-blue aster, the fringe from the dress having been turned into the outer flower petals (ray flowers) of the aster. The other flower was the yellow goldenrod.


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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

Ardea Wildlife Pets Photo Mug of Red Admiral Butterfly - Feeding upon aster flowers from Ardea Wildlife Pets
Kitchen (Ardea Wildlife Pets)
  • PHOTO MUG This Photo Mug features an image of Red Admiral Butterfly - Feeding upon aster flowers chosen by Ardea Wildlife Pets. Estimated image size 120x80mm.
  • 11oz White ceramic coffee mug. Image printed using sublimation ink process. Microwave, dishwasher safe
  • Image Description Red Admiral Butterfly - Feeding upon aster flowers USH-1733 Red Admiral Butterfly - Feeding upon aster flowers Lower Saxony, Germany Vanessa atalanta...
  • For any queries regarding this image please contact Ardea Wildlife Pets quoting Reference 650405
  • Image supplied and selected by Ardea Wildlife Pets. (c) Duncan Usher / ardea

3dRose LLC Florene Vintage Botanical - Image of 1700s delicate china aster flowers in violet and pink - Mouse Pads
CE (3dRose LLC)
  • Dimensions (in inches): 8 W x 8 H x 0.25 D
  • Matte finish
  • Soft to touch, will not crack or peel
  • Clean with mild detergent
  • Made of heavy-duty recycled rubber
3dRose LLC Chocolate Cosmos, Aster flower, Sammamish WA - US48 DGU0143 - Darrell Gulin - 12 X 18 Inch Garden Flag
Lawn & Patio (3dRose LLC)
  • Overall dimension is 12 x 18 ; image size is 10 x 10
  • Made of 100% single-ply semi-opaque polyester
  • Image is printed on one side, with a lighter image visible on the backside
  • Suitable for hanging from a flag pole (8mm in diameter), on a wall, ceiling, banisters or doors
  • Hanging hardware/pole not included

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