In the Band country in midsummer, and well into September, the slopes of old dunes and the wind-blown roadsides are brighl with the yellow flowers of golden-aster. The flowers are an inch wide with numerous yellow rays around a center of yellow stamens and pistils, dandelion-like blossoms held erect to the sun. "Aspect of Gold", the Greek name denotes, and the sand country does indeed take on a golden aspect when Chrysopsis blooms. It comes at a time when the full blaze of summer Composites has not yet made its appearance; yet there is about the plant the look of a late-flowering plant, like a small double sunflower somehow misplaced among the sands. Golden-aster, however, is not even a true aster, though still a Composite; no true asters are yellow. The leaves are densely hairy and rough, and are placed somewhat spirally around the brittle, hairy stem.
Chrysopsis villosa ( Pursh) Nutt.
June - August Sands.
The roots go deeply into the yellow - brown sand. Mere the golden-aster is an integral part of the land-cape, there along the Illinois River and other streams near which the glacier left acres of sand. These sands became anchored by clump- of prairie grass and the traveling root- of rabbit's bean and cacti, by the roots of wild indigo and lead plant, and by the thousands of stiff, two-toot plant- of golden-aster. Without these essential plants the sand perpetually would shift in the incessant wind; there would be no stability of the landscape, no roadside safe from drifting dunes winch inexorably move under the finger of wind to places elsewhere, grain by grain, heap by heap, onward across the countryside. Plants like golden-aster provide anchorage as well as summer color in the Illinois country.