Heath Aster

Heath AsterThis large family (Asteraceae), commonly called the Aster Family, consists of 1,314 genera and 21,000 species of herbs, shrubs, climbers and a few trees is found chiefly in temperate and subtropical regions.  The plants are of value to man as ornamentals; a few are insecticides and fish poisons. Generally Asters were called “Michaelmas Daisies”.  Michaelmas is a church festival on September 29 celebrating the Archangel Michael; cultivated Michaelmas Daisies are hybrid Asters.  Asters are also called “Starwoorts” and “Sharewoorts” in Gerards Herbal (1633). The common, large, double-flowered garden aster belongs to a different genus, Callistephus. Though very abundant in old fields, grasslands, and shaded woods, Asters are of very little use to wildlife.  A few upland and songbirds eat the seeds.

OtherCommonName:

Frost Aster

ScientificName:

Aster pilsusu

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

4 to 60 inches

FruitingTime:

September to November

Distribution:

Maine to Florida ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Early August to November

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Robust plant, hairy ~ Leaves basal and above, toothed, lance to elliptic ~ Flowers white, sometimes purple, many headed