A Little Slice of Fall

Autumn seems to be taking over in a hurry. Suddenly I find I need to wear a jacket when I go outside.

Crooked Stem Aster
Crooked Stem Aster

The Crooked Stem Aster (Symphyotrichum prenanthoides) is covered with tiny sky blue flowers.

Big Leaf Aster
Big Leaf Aster

Then there is Big Leaf Aster (Symphyotrichum macrophyllus). I have finally admitted to myself that Big Leaf Aster (or as my kids call it, Big Ass Leafter) flowers are really nothing to get excited about. It’s value lies more in the large heart shaped leaves that will form a ground cover in dry shade.

Short's Aster
Short’s Aster

Short’s Aster (Symphyotrichum shortii) blooms a little later – its flowers are just starting to open. And the New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) blooms later in the season.

Aromatic Aster and Anise Scented Goldenrod. I have never found Aromatic Aster to be aromatic at all, but Anise Scented Goldenrod really is anise-scented.
Aromatic Aster and Anise Scented Goldenrod. I have never found Aromatic Aster to be aromatic at all, but Anise Scented Goldenrod really is anise-scented.

I think of Aromatic Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolius) as a late bloomer, but this year it seems to be blooming early, though the flowers are just starting to open. No matter, the flowers keep coming over a long period. Β Here it is blooming with Anise Scented Goldenrod (Solidago odora), a fairly short goldenrod that tolerates some shade.

Now, you might say that all these asters look essentially the same. However, if you say this to me I will have to report you to the American Horticultural Society, resulting in a ceremony in which they strip you of all the online nursery coupons in your possession. They will also break your trowel. You don’t want that to happen.

Anyhow, Judy and the boys and I are heading up to northern Wisconsin tomorrow for a week of relaxation. There is no internet access in the cabin that our friends Bob and Wendy are generously letting us use, so I think I will probably not be posting again for a week or so. So take care, and make the most of autumn while it lasts.

26 Comments on “A Little Slice of Fall

  1. I get so much out of reading your blog! I need something to hide the rabbit damage under the arborvitae and you have provided two strong contenders – big leaf aster and anise scented goldenrod. Thank you! And enjoy your vacation.

  2. Have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation!
    I’m surprised to have made it this far without having my trowel snapped πŸ™‚
    ….and I blame your kids for the fact that from now on I will always look at my asters and overemphasize the first syllable.

  3. I love all asters, except for the mildewy ones. But when did they become Symphyotrichum? I missed that. How on earth are we supposed to remember it? The Big Ass Leafter is much easier to remember.

    • A few years ago, actually. Some are now Symphyotrichum, some are Eurybia, others are Delingeria, and one is even a Solidago. Those simple days of the past when asters were Asters are gone forever.

  4. Enjoy your holiday Jason and Judy, a week without internet by choice sounds very refreshing, looking forward to good reports on your return.

  5. Hello Jason, we still have a little bit of Summer yet but I don’t know for how many weeks we’ll be able to hold onto it. I hope you have a lovely, relaxing holiday in Wisconsin and don’t miss the internet connection much.

  6. Wave when you pass the Madison area. πŸ˜‰ Do have a wonderful, relaxing time in the northwoods! Actually, it looks like we’ll have a bit of a warm up this week. so it should be perfect for your vacation. Your collection of Asters is lovely!

  7. My asters, whatever they are, have started blooming a little too, and I’m used to seeing them much later. Have a great trip and stay warm!

  8. Hahahaha…I certainly don’t want anyone breaking my trowel so I shan’t say they all look the same! I do love asters though, they are blooming in my garden too, I do like your aromatic ones. Have a wonderful time!xxx

  9. Serendipity! I just saw the anise goldenrod in a catalgue and thought: gee that sounds nice and now you’ve confirmed. ty =) Have a nice trip.

  10. Ok, I won’t tell you that I don’t know the names of most my asters and goldenrod because they’re all volunteers. Please don’t report me to the AHS–I’ve already lost my favorite trowel this week:) Hope you are having a great time in Wisconsin and that it’s warm. When I met Beth last Friday in Janesville, it was so cold and spitting rain; I think the lady manning the desk at the Botanical Gardens thought we were a bit crazy to spend so much time in the gardens:) They were beautiful, though–hope next year you can join us!

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