Here, perhaps, is the most popular and the most captivating of the taller Asters. The very name of this familiar and delightfully handsome plant rings true with the Puritanic comeliness which it gracefully diffuses. Altogether, it is one of those happy and pleasing combinations that fairly thrills one with its pure, wholesome loveliness, and it provokes an irresistible admiration wherever it abounds. Gardeners have cultivated this Aster successfully in England, but, discontented with their restraint and coddling, it has escaped therefrom, and asserting the original element of freedom, become naturalized in adjacent fields and byways. Then, again, it has a cunning knack of closing its so-called "petals" or rays at sunset, Like the tots of ancient days Cuddling up from sight, When curfew through autumn's haze Bade them nightie-night.
This showy Starwort raises its rough, stout, leafy and branching stalk from two to eight feet high. The hairy, lance-shaped leaves are pointed at the tip, and heart-shaped at their base, where they snugly clasp the stalk. They are toothless, and the texture is thin. The numerous flower heads are from one to two inches broad, and are clustered at the ends of the branches. From thirty to forty narrow rays, varying in colour from light violet to rich purple, or rarely white, surround the perfect five-lobed, tubular, yellow, purple-stained disc florets, which are set in a large, sticky green cup. This beautiful Aster is commonly found in rich fields and along swamps from Quebec to the Northwest Territory, and south to South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, during August, September and October.