Lady Aster and Guest

Mike Oxley

Cornwall Ontario, Canada

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Artist's Description

Rotary Eco Gardens, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
September 24, 2010

‘Tis that time of year in the GWN. Not too much variety in the wildflower department, but what there is ain’t too bad. Asters predominate, as well as the goldenrods and, in the eco gardens, the giant sunflowers, so the landscape is dotted with patches of yellow and purple. A pretty last hurrah, as it were. And I think the remaining bees and butterflies aren’t objecting too strenuously. This tiny visitor seemed happy enough, anyway.

New England Aster
 (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
 (formerly Aster novae-angliae)

Thanks to

Other scientific names: Aster novae-angliae, Aster roseus, Lasallea novae-angliae, Virgulus novae-angliae

French names: Aster de la Nouvelle-Angleterre

Family: Aster Family (Asteraceae), Composite Family (Compositae)

Group: Asters

Distinctive features: Large rose-purple flowers, with very numerous rays. Clasping leaves. Rough stem. Leaves smell a bit spicy when crushed.

Similar species:
  •   Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum) – grows in wet areas, flowers have fewer rays. Leaves do not smell spicy when crushed.
  •   Amethyst Aster (Aster x amethystinus) – a hybrid between New England Aster & Heath Aster – much like a miniature New England Aster with more leaves and smaller leaves.

Flowers: Summer, Fall;  Blue/Violet, White;  7 or more parts (petals);  3cm in diameter. Ray flowers: very numerous, 50-75, dark rose-purple to pink, sometimes white. Disc flowers: 50-100, yellow becoming purple.

Leaves: Clasping stem. Crowded along the stem. Have three prominent veins. Lower leaves have usually disappeared by flowering time. Leaves are toothless. Smell a little bit spicy when crushed.

Height: Up to 120 cm (47 in)

Stem: Bristly-hairy. Stout.

Habitat: Open areas, fields, roadsides.

Grows in Sun/Shade: Sun

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Common.

Notes: This is the very common Aster that many people are familiar with. The very many ray flowers are distinctive. It is often sold in nurseries as a garden plant.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 17 to 70 at 70 mm
iso 200, spot metered, aperture priority F9.5, 1/200 second

Artwork Comments

  • Lee-Anne Carver
  • Mike Oxley
  • Larry Trupp
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  • Alex Gardiner
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  • Magriet Meintjes
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  • Aileen David
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  • deb cole
  • Mike Oxley
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