I love this time of year because the end of summer brings the beautiful array of native asters for our enjoyment. The New England Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae fna Aster novae-angliae) with its variety of colors from purple to pink, and the Sky Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense fna Aster azureus) are just beginning to blossom. The Heath (Symphyotrichum ericoides fna Aster ericoides) and Frost Aster (Symphyotorichum pilosum fna Aster pilosus)will soon follow. And then finally the Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum fna Aster lateriflorus) which makes me laugh because it’s so cute.
Typically, the asters will last from August through October making them a really appropriate nectar plant for the monarchs and other insects as they migrate to their winter quarters or settle in for a long winter’s nap.