Purple Asters

September 10, 2016




It is a sure sign that summer is ending when you start to notice purple asters blooming by the side of the road. Growing in a knotty jumble, favoring ditches and weedy spots, competing with goldenrod–a close relative–and ragweed, purple asters can at first glance look pretty ordinary…and sometimes at second glance too.  But in the end there is something about the color that attracts.  The purple of flowers in the wood-aster and American-aster groups can range from pale violet to powdery blue.  When you slow down and really look, you see that each flower disk seems to be quietly pulsing with its own cool bioluminescence.  In the deepening shade of early September the subtle purple glow is magical.

An everyday shape
yet somehow otherworldly—
these aster flowers

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