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Tiny White Asters

Asters are aptly named, as the word aster means star.

Aster flowers do look like tiny daisy stars, and these American natives are stars of the garden each fall. I have many New England and New York asters in my garden, and I love the pink, blue and purple colors of the blooms and the carefree nature of the plants. I also enjoy the tiny, white “wild” asters that self seed easily and pop up all through my garden.

There is the wood aster (A. divaricatus) that grows 1 to 2 feet and produces loose clusters of three-quarter-inch flowers in fall in zones 4 to 8.

Another tiny, white flower is produced in profusion on the heath aster (A. ericoides), which has more slender leaves, but it also self seeds and produces clusters of small, white flowers in zones 3 to 8.

I think of the wood and heath asters as bonus flowers, as they produce millions of tiny blooms that provide a softness in the landscape and the vase, creating an effect that is similar to baby’s breath.

These easy care plants are self perpetuating, and the tiny white stars appear each fall, tying together the other flowers in my garden beds as if by magic.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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