Aster flowers are a very common plant in North American gardens. The name of the plant is derived from the Greek word, meaning “star.” Asters are a member of the sunflower family even though they look like a daisy in appearance. The main characteristic of the aster is that all of them have yellow in the center of the flower. Aster is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, and order Asterales.
There are more than a hundred variations of this type of flower. They can range in size from less than a foot tall to over two feet. Both the large and small varieties can make wonderful additions to your garden. They also make wonderful flowers to stick in a vase or to give people as a present. Among the more showy native species that is cultivated in North American gardens are the blue or violet New York aster (A. novi-belgii) and the purple New England aster (A. novae-angliae).
Unlike most common flowers of North American which bloom in spring, asters bloom in the fall, from August through September. This flower is grown all over the world except Antarctica and Australia. Asters can be found in any shade and color with exception of orange and clear yellow. Such colors of the flowers as purple, blue, white and violet are predominant. The fruits of asters are known as achenes.
The meaning of this September birth flower is faith, love, wisdom and symbolizes valor. The Monte Casino is a popular aster and that flower is often used to symbolize afterthought or true love. The aster signifies fidelity in China. The alternative name of the flower is starworts or the Michaelmas daisy. A few species are used for food, as salad plants normally. The China aster is the common aster of florists as well as flower gardens.