Aster Blooms in Autumn

asters in bloom

asters in bloom

Two dreary days in a row. This year, that’s pretty common. Shenandoah National Park reported on their Facebook page this week “To date this year we have had nearly 80 inches of rain, more than 25 inches than usual.”

So while the day is gray, the perennials are still colorful, especially the asters, which makes a walk around the yard worth it.

The aster in the upper left grows wild here, but it’s a close match to the Calico Aster Symphyotrichum lateriflorum) or White Woodland Aster. The small white flowers have centers that begin yellow and matures to a pretty pink.

The dark purple New England asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), upper right, are wrapping up the show. Until two days ago, the Monarch butterflies were all over it, but now they’ve moved back to the Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia).

I received this low-growing purple aster, bottom right, as a gift from another gardener. It doesn’t have a name, but it’s popular with the skippers, and it blooms now that the New England asters are wrapping up. I wish I knew more about it so I could tell you where to find one for your garden. I do plan to divide it for future Master Gardener plant sales.

The many wild asters (hundreds found in Virginia alone) are also in bloom. The lower left is a pretty white aster that is slowly spreading in a fallow part of our veggie garden. It looks like a random weed when growing earlier in the season, so I’m sure I pulled some of them!

Sadly, the pink New England asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) are done blooming and are going to seed.

Asters help ensure blooms into fall. I’d love to hear about your favorite aster!



*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

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