New England Asters: North of the Border

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in fall, flowers, insects, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Welcome to Canada. It’s the foreign country that doesn’t feel like a foreign country. It has gas stations, billboards, McDonalds, and all the elements of American culture. And it has New England asters. fundy 024

But wait a minute. This isn’t New England, it’s New Brunswick (not sure where old Brunswick is.) So how can they be New England asters? I thought it was just one of those common-name things, where the common name for a plant varies locally, but no, they are indeed officially New England asters, even in Latin. Symphyotrichum novae-angliae.

They’re native to just about everywhere in North America, and the Canadian roads are lined with them now. This is good news for nectar-feeders–asters are the very last bloomers before the snow flies, so this is the bees’ last chance to stock up for winter

fundy 019New England asters come in a spectrum of shades of purple, from lilac to deep royalty. Also they love almost any sort of habitat as long as it doesn’t have shade, so they’ve been widely planted in gardens all over the world. From which they often escape, to decorate autumn roadsides in Canada and the US, and all over the world.fundy 016

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