Finally, the ex-Asters are blooming. They were rather late this year. The plant above is a volunteer wilding, possibly a hybrid of Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, the calico aster. All I know is that it produces froths of tiny white blooms in partial to full shade. It gets no TLC of any kind and has planted itself at the base of a boxelder. It's happy, I'm happy.
Here's a closer look, larger than life.
It shows the composite nature of the ex-Asters. Each one of those central yellow things is a flower.
Here's the center of a former New England aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Honeysong Pink'. (A New England aster cultivar counts as a wildflower because different flower colors occur as natural variations. For an example, see my Beautiful Wildlife Garden post for this week.)
|composite flowers of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae|
The quarter-sized flowers also come in the familiar purple (in bud, bottom right, above). Yes, they're common as weeds, but I wouldn't want to be without them.
The following ex-Aster is an ericoides, which means it is heath-like.
For more Latin fun, here's its full name: Symphyotrichum ericoides var. prostratum 'Snow Flurry', which means it's heath-like, lays on the ground and has white flowers. It's a big groundcover with little flowers. This one withstands drought and prefers average to dry conditions.
For a big round blob of color, you can't go wrong with the aromatic ex-aster, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium.
This is 'October Skies', purportedly a dwarf, but the species grows one to two feet tall, while this thing easily passes that. I need to move one of them, as it's crowding out a Monarda, a Clematis, a Cotinus and several other things that I haven't seen in two months.
That particular plant is at the top of a small slope, which suits aromatic ex-aster perfectly.
The newest ex-Aster to Squirrelhaven is one I've wanted for a long time, Symphyotrichum macrophyllum, the big-leaved aster.
Unlike the sun-lovers above, this one likes a bit of shade, as does Eurybia divaricatus,
the white wood aster.
With such great variety and beauty, who needs mums?
Thanks goes to Gail, of Clay and Limestone, for hosting Wildflower Wednesday, where you can find other wildflower posts.