White Wood Aster

Eurybia divaricata or Aster divaricates

The cold and dreary days of February are a good time to catch up on my backlog of wildflower photos! Sifting through these images makes me anxious for spring to arrive!

Here is a common white aster that you are probably familiar with from your fall hikes in the mountains of Virginia. White wood asters are forest perennials that grow 1 to 3 feet in height. Although they are not particularly showy, they become more obvious at the end of the summer when other forest plants begin to fade. The plants usually appear in groups, since they spread by underground rhizomes.

wood asterThe distinctive leaves of white wood asters are alternate, sharply toothed, and stalked (they have petioles). The lower leaves are heart-shaped while the upper leaves are more narrow. The dark-colored stems grow in a zigzag fashion and are covered in very fine hair.

White wood aster’s small, white, daisy-like flowers grow in flat clusters. Each flower is less than 1 inch across. The number of white ray flowers per head is only 5 to 10. The central disk is yellow to reddish in color.

Look for white wood asters growing in dry open woods; bloom time is July through October. It also grows well in garden settings because it is easy to cultivate–it prefers partial to full shade and happily tolerates dry conditions at the end of summer. 🙂

One Comment Add yours

  1. Welcome back! I’ve missed you! Out here in Washington State, we’ve been experiencing late winter snow storms since Tuesday with now an accumulation of nearly 15 inches. Did you read my post about Lane Cakes on the courtyard tables? That’s what all that snow looks like. With frozen surfaces, the little chickadees and juncos simply prance all over the tops. Cute to watch!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s