A potpourri (below) of aster information as a supplement to other articles.
A plant-based page rather than our usual topic-based page. It's a pivot point where you'll find one set of links to ours and others' articles that involve Asters. (Go to the links now!)
Few perennials are so willing as asters. Most Aster species will grow in sand or clay based soil, tolerate slow drainage and drought, and bloom in sun or part shade (and a few such as bigleaf aster, A. macrophylla, actually prefer shade).
Asters are native throughout North America (zones 3-8). There are hundreds species of asters, some of which have recently had the "Aster" in their scientific name changed to Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus, or the big North American groups Symphyotrichum and Eurybia. (Since most references and catalogs will list the old or both names for ten years or so, plus we have a hunch at least some of the species will be switched around a bit more after the next International Botanical Congress meeting, we're sticking with the "old" names a while.)
These plants are very important to butterflies and bees, and birds love the seeds. Plant a lot of asters!
New England asters (Aster novae-angliae, two images below) have a wider color range than many aster species. They come in every variation of violet from deep purple to red violet and near-blue. White varieties have also been selected.
Wild- and full size New England asters are upwards of 4' tall but dwarf varieties have been selected and developed. 'Alert', an 18" red-violet cultivar, has been one of our favorites for many years.
with black walnut: Growing Concerns 91