When the deep purple blossoms of New England aster blossom along the roads, then we know that autumn is ripening to that point which calls a halt to new flowers. This is the last and its color is perhaps a deeper hue than any other purple flower since the violets bloomed. Now in September and October, until heavy frosts, the New England asters grace the countryside.
Aster novae-angliae L.
September -October Roadsides, ditches.
Canada goldenrod and New England aster are the pair which usually are meant by poets and other writers when they speak of the flowers of autumn. 'There are many asters and many goldenrods but of them all these two are perhaps most gorgeous and most typical of both tribes.
In themselves alone, they embody autumn. Here in concise and brilliant form and color, autumn paints the landscape and leads up to the climax of color on the oaks.
New England aster has tall leafy stalks which bend, wandlike, in all directions from the root. The stalks are two to six feet tall, densely downy-hairy, set with short, sessile leaves. Only the upper part of the stalk branches. Up there it sends forth many short, thin stems on which are flowers which may vary in color from rich blue-purple through the red-purples, to pink and white, though the latter is rarest. New England aster has been taken into the gardens and has been developed somewhat to form new and acceptable colors in greater abundance of bloom than even along the roadsides. Yet here beside the autumn road, the bright color of New England asters is incomparable against the background of the waning year.