Asters - The Starry Starry Flower!

Consider the fact the name of this flower originates from Latin for star and you know why this is one of the most popular blossoms all over the world. Its petite prettiness has also inspired many a legend including the fact that they are the product of a goddess’s tears and the result of Virgo sprinkling the earth with star dust.
Starry Flower
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There are more than a hundred species of this plant right now and some of its names and species are:
  • Michaelmas Daisy
  • Goldilocks Aster
  • King George aster
  • Aster thomsonii
  • Alpine Aster
About asters
While almost every flower has rich mythology associated with it, very few stories come close to the ones surrounding the Aster. For instance, purple colored asters were said to be born from the blood of King Aegeus who killed himself in the mistaken belief that his son, Theseus died while killing the beast called the Minotaur. This was according to Greek mythology of course! Ancient Greeks also considered that the Astor leaf was powerful enough to do away with serpent venom. Even ancient Romans and Native American Indians had mythology associated with the Aster flower.

Interestingly, these flowers are symbolic of elegance and patience. They also come in a wide variety of colours and heights. For instance, dwarf asters can be less than a foot tall and on the other end of the spectrum there are asters that can even touch around 8 to 9 feet.

How to grow
Asters typically blossom in the summer or autumn seasons and are perennial plants. Ideally you could plant the seeds or saplings in a place which does not receive too much of direct sunlight. Preferably, saplings would be a better bet. You can use them as border plants or even put them in containers. In case you are trying to plant a cluster of asters then do ensure the saplings are placed with at least 2 feet distance between them.

Taking care of the flower
It is important to remember that some of the taller plants or varieties of asters will need some kind of support in terms of a post. You should ensure that the soil around the plants is kept moist and also well drained. The plants also respond really well to the use of mulch. Pests such as aphids and powdery mildew are some of the common threats to asters. There are mildew resistant Aster varieties that you can cultivate.

Uses of the flower
The most popular use of the Aster is in the garden. Its versatility means that a homeowner can use it as an ornamental plant, a border plant, place it in flower pots on the kitchen windowsill and even use it to add a dash of color to a rock garden. One of the biggest benefits of planting as many asters as you want in your garden is the fact that butterflies will make a beeline to the flowers. Depending on the color and species of the asters, you can certainly use it in the flower vase in your home as well.

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James is a writer and blogger with 5 years experience.

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