From Adirondack: Life and Wildlife in the Wild, Wild East by Edward Kanze:
“With the goldenrods in autumn come New England asters, tall and stately and elegantly garnished with yellow-centered purple pinwheels. And with these come the year’s last great rush of birds and insects. Goldfinches pick apart thistles and feed the seeds to their young….
“Overhead in skies of brilliant cobalt, hawks float dreamily southward, making the smaller birds below them nervous. Red-tailed bumblebees bustle among the goldenrods, gathering nectar and pollen, and on the billowing white blossoms of the sixty hydrangea bushes that border the driveway, monarch butterflies flutter down like autumn leaves.”
From 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names by Diana Wells:
“The English called European asters both ‘asters’ and ‘starworts.’ Aster, Latin for ‘star,’ referred to the flower’s star-like shape. ‘Wort’ originally meant ‘root,’ and then was applied to plants that had healing properties. Asters, said the herbalist John Parkinson, were good for ‘the biting of a mad dogge, the greene herbe being beaten with old hogs grease, and applyed.’
“In 1637 John Tradescant the Younger brought North American asters back from Virginia. These do not seem to have been noticed much until they were hybridized with European starworts. They were later renamed ‘Michaelmas daisies’ in Britain, because when the British finally adopted Gregory XIII’s revised calendar, the feast of Saint Michael coincided with their flowering.”
This is the second of three posts featuring aster varieties from Oakland Cemetery’s gardens. The previous post is Autumn Asters (1 of 3) and a beeful collection of these flowers is on my Bees on Blooms! post from last week.
Thanks for taking a look!