Heart-Leaved Aster (Aster Cordifolius) is a common species, readily identified by the shape of its leaves that are, the lower ones especially, heart-shaped and on quite long, slender, ciliate petioles; they are thin but rather rough and are toothed on the edge. The stalk is slender, branchy and grows from 1 to 4 feet high. The flowers are numerous but comparatively small, about % inches across; they have brownish yellow centers and 10 to 20 lilac, or lighter colored rays. It is a very common species in thin woods and thickets, or along their edges, or roadsides. Found from N. B. to Minn, and southwards, flowering in Sept. and Oct.
Wavy-Leaved Aster (Aster Undulatus) is also readily identified because its leaves have long, broad stems that expand into heart-shape as they clasp the stem. The stems are stiff, rough and 1 to 3 feet tall. The light, blue-violet flowers have 9 to 15 rays. This species ranges from N. B., Ont. and Minn southwards.
Panicled Aster (Aster Paniculatus) is a very tall, branching, slender-stemmed species, commonly found in moist ground and on the borders of woods or copses. The smooth stalk attains heights of from 2 to 8 feet. At the ends of the branches are numerous flower heads about the size of a nickel, loosely panicled. The leaves are long lance-shaped, nearly smooth, obscurely, or not at all, toothed and dark green in color. This is one of the palest colored of the "blue asters," the flowers are very light violet and often white.
Showy Aster (Aster Spectabilis) , a seaside species, has probably, the deepest colored flowers; large, about 1½ in. across, deep purplish violet and but few in number. Simple stem 1 to 2 feet tall and rough, toothless, lance-shaped leaves.
A. Heath Aster.
B. Many-flowered Aster.
Heath Aster (Aster Ericoides) is also a common white aster from Me. to Minn, and southwards. Its many flowers are but a little larger than those of the last. The plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and has many branches, each having simple, many-flowered stems racemed along their outer ends. All the stems, even the flower peduncles, are set with tiny, healthlike, linear leaves. In our illustration, the apparently different size between the flowers of this and the last species is because the scale is different; the present one represents a single flowering stem, corresponding to one of the several shown in the other figure. All the asters are frequented by bees, this species is a special favorite with the honey bee and furnishes him with a large percentage of the nectar he secures during the waning days of his active year.