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Heath Aster

Heath Aster

Heath Aster

Named for their resemblance to the white heath of the moors of England, Heath Asters thrive in dry, rocky prairie ground or pasture land. Since grazing animals tend to avoid this plant and it spreads easily, it will eventually form extended colonies of attractive white bushes. Native Americans once used this plant in sweat baths, since it produced invigorating herbal steam. Originally from the Greek language, "aster" means "star." At one time, asters were called starworts, frost flowers, or Michaelmas daisies; in spite of their daisy-like petals, asters are actually diminutive members of the sunflower family. In the language of flowers, these starry blossoms symbolize elegance or daintiness. They make a traditional gift for birthdays in the month of September, or for 20th wedding anniversaries.

Aster

A bushy, clump-forming native forb that spreads by creeping rhizomes. Abundant, white ¼” flowers with yellow centers are produced from August through October. Performs best in full sun, sandy to loamy, well-draining soils. Pollinators and wildlife will flock to asters in late summer and fall as they prepare for winter and migration. Formerly listed as Aster ericoides. May also be known as white heath aster, white prairie aster, and wreath aster.Fill your native gardens with late summer bloomers such as: Sweet Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa), Goldenrods (Solidago spp.), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), Sky Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense), and White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra).

Native to the Southern two-thirds of Wisconsin, commonly found in dry meadows and prairies, and in sandy to loamy soil. Was reportedly used to revive unconscious patients. Native Americans used Heath aster during their sweat baths by burning flowering plants on the hot rocks to produce an herbal steam. Differentiating between other asters can be difficult. The main point of difference is the blunt point of the bracts beneath the flower head – other asters are sharply pointed or adpressed to the inflorescence. One plant can produce up to 100 flower heads! (Source: www.kb.jniplants.com)

 

 

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