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Awesome Asters

The best ones have strong habits and disease resistance, and they end the season with a bang

Fine Gardening - Issue 165
What would autumn be like without asters? Boring, that’s what. Thankfully, I live in a place with a plethora of native asters that dot and decorate roadsides, fields, woodlands, and wild spaces. Their ubiquitous nature sometimes saddles them with the reputation of looking too wild, and while you might get your fix of asters from these borrowed landscapes, I wouldn’t want to be without their cheery flowers in my garden, as well. Asters mark the changing seasons in a pageant of colors, blending beautifully with an assortment of grasses and other late-showing perennials. Aster (the Greek word for “star”) is so-named for the starburst effect of its daisylike flowers, but I like to think that its stellar floral show has something to do with it, too. The botanical name of this autumnal star has changed from the simplicity of Aster to tongue twisters such as Doellengeria, Eurybia, and Symphyotrichum—confounding gardeners…

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