One of the legends associated with the aster flowers says, that when the Greek goddess Asterea looked at earth and could not find any stars, she cried. The flowers grew out of the soil, wherever her tears fell. Most of the legends associated with them somehow try to explain their shape, which exactly resembles the blinking and twinkling of stars. It is said that they are so named to remind us of the star Astron, which is referred in the Greek mythology. This article presents a few more interesting aster flower facts.
- They are also known as the frost flowers, and are one of the preferred choice for the flower arrangements in fall and winter. The most popular ones are Monte Casino and the New England aster. Smooth Aster, Many-Flowered Aster, Purple dome, Alma Potschke, September ruby, Hella lucy, Puff white, Magic dark blue, and Jin dai are few of the other popular ones.
- They come under the class of Magnoliophyta. They belong to the order of Asterales and are placed in the family Asteraceae and genus Aster.
- Asteraceae is the second largest family of flowers.
- They are also referred to as Starworts or Michaelmas.
- A majority of them are perennials, i.e., they last for three seasons. Some of them are annuals and biennials.
- These plants are indigenous to North America and are also found in the Europe, South America, and Asia.
- The family has at least 600 varieties, grouped under genus Aster.
- The family Asteraceae also contains genera, such as Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus, and Symphyotrichum. The varieties from the new world are grouped under these genera.
- Its flowers come out in almost all colors of the rainbow. They are found in velvety white color, blue, robust red, pink, delicate purple, and lovely lavender colors.
- It is important to pay attention to the meaning of these blooms. These are the September birth flowers and are also the 20th wedding anniversary flowers.
- They are complicated, and are collections of number of tiny and tubular bisexual blooms.
- Their main characteristic is the presence of yellow-colored central disc.
- Most of them are subspecies of either New England (Aster novae anglias) or New York (Aster nova belgii).
- These perennials are easy to grow in gardens. However, they need to be protected from powdery mildew.
- They depend on insects for the purpose of pollination. The seeds of a type of aster that is referred to as Bushy aster, are spread all over the place by the wind.
- Some of them can easily survive a drought. On the other hand, there are some others, which defy the intense cold of the temperature zone T3 and T4.
- The Alpine type is white in color and is native to the United States.
How to Grow?
If you are planning to raise a bunch of them in your garden this fall then, it is important to look for them at the local nursery. Selecting and buying healthy plants is very important. While you are at selecting them, look for the signs of new growth in them. You can look for the new, soft, and tiny leaves and sprouting buds, to make sure that the plants are going to be productive for you.
Cure a patch of soil, for planting them in your garden. These plants love sunlight, however, you can also choose a shady corner of your garden for them. The type of soil in which they are planted matters. The plants prefers well-drained soil. The drainage of water prevents the rotting of the plant roots.
Dig holes for the plants. The distance between the plant holes should not be less than 18 inches and more than 24 inches. Before planting them, apply a dose of fertilizers, preferably organic, to these holes, lightly.
Mulch the beds with organic compost. This prevents water evaporation from the soil, around the plants and provides nourishment for them. Water the beds to keep the soil around the plants moist.
After the plants have taken root and have grown as a healthy plant, it is necessary to stake it in the late summer. Caring for these plants in the proper way will support them and prevent them from flopping over because of its own weight. In the late winter, when the plant withers, cut its stem close to the ground.
It is difficult not to fall in love with these blooms. They are simple, and easy to tend and care for. Most of them appear at the end of growing season to make the world full of colors.