Native wild aster easy to grow

Sunday, October 30, 2011

There are several kinds and colors of wild asters. My photo here shows one that is common in Southeast Missouri. Known for flowering late in the year, the wild aster can continue to bloom well after the first frosts of autumn.

Deer eat the leaves and flowers of the wild aster. Seed-eating songbirds such as goldfinches and sparrows will eat the aster's small seeds.

Wild asters are easy to grow. They will tolerate crowding by other plants and require virtually no attention from a gardener. Individual flowers are small at maybe an inch across, but asters bloom in profusion and several plants growing close together can be impressive.

Late-season insects such as wasps, bees and flies will pollinate asters. Wild aster seeds are dispersed by the wind.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the Painted Wren Gallery.

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