Mid September/October roadsides , prairies and bike trails in Bluff Country see a exuberant explosion of purples, blues and whites of the native Asters. Their bright blooms are one of the joys in the changing season. Even deep in the woods asters will make an appearance. There being many different models of this particular plant and the fact that some of them "interbeed" I'd make no claim at expertise in identifying each and every one. Still, short or tall, an aster is an aster and for fall color, I love them all. Take a look at a few along the bike trail.
Amidst the beautiful colors of the blues and purples are the whites: wood aster, calico aster, small-flowered white aster and flat-topped white aster, like bright candles in the Autumn dusk.
The first to bloom among the white asters is the wood aster, opening its starry flowers under the trees in late August. The small-flowered white asters and calico asters come next. Calico Asters are so named because the white ray flowers can surround either yellow or purple disk flowers on the same plant. The aspect is one of an old fashioned calico fabric spread across the bushy plants, which can reach a height of 5 feet, but are often smaller.
My hiking companion Baron "Humphrey Bogart", standing in a patch of Calico Asters says "here's looking at you kid."