There is always more about Asters, isn't there? Living with Asters is a bit like living with kids - every time you think you have something figured out you discover something else that throws all your ideas out on their ears. Asters are always that one step ahead of us...
I took a short walk down to the edge of my Marsh and inspected some of the Asters in bloom now.
The flowers are a sort of 'shabby chic' for the garden.
The flowers are comparatively large and usually some shade of blue. I have only once seen a white one, and have so far managed to keep my mitts off, but I'll visit it once the seeds ripen. Easy to grow, but it does need moisture.
When I went to photograph the Flat-topped Aster above, I also found a number of plants of what I think must be Symphyotrichum ciliolatum, Fringed Blue Aster. Hard to be sure, but the leaves and flowers are as described in the books. It's the habitat that doesn't match. J. Semple in Cultivated and Native Asters of Ontario calls it a 'calciphile' and describes the typical habitat as 'open woods'. Here it grows along the edge of the marsh (probably acidic) and quite near the water.
Here's one which I can't identify. Tall, about 4', well-leaved all the way down, sturdy and healthy looking, it has spread to be a large patch here. It's in full sun, fairly damp, poor soil. The stems all have some degree of 'zig' to them, and most have the dark spots you see here. The flowers vary from white to very pale pink.
And if you like guessing, how about this one? I found a number of these beside the Marsh. They tended to be about 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall, single-stemmed, with rough but healthy leaves. The flowers were all white, with the centres (the disc flowers) starting out yellow, becoming purple, and then fading to brown. Quite large for an aster. The leaves are also fairly wide for an aster and clasp the stem at their bases.
Could this be Eurybia radula, Rough-leaved Aster? That's not supposed to occur here, only being known from further North.The leaves fit the description, the flowers sort-of fit, but the location is off.
Wonder what it is...
Next post I'll take a look at some of the dry-land Asters I have here, and if you think you're confused now, just wait!