As the line of peak foliage moves south (I think it is in my neighborhood right now), asters and chrysanthemums are taking center stage. Checking off another state in the 50 natives…. Rhode Island has four varieties of native asters (all are featured in this charming picture). They are Aster novae-angliae, Aster divaricatus, Aster ericoides, and Aster laevis.
Native asters have a somewhat deserved weedy reputation, but there has been alot of selection to improve them – Alan Armitage has a great article here about some of the best varieties.
For the love of Gardening also has a nice post about native and hybrid asters. As I think about all my fall platings, I have to admit, I do not now the difference (scientifically) between asters, daisies and mums….I think I can tell, (between petal shape and layout, leaf and stem structure) by looking at them, but they are so similar and there are so many varieites that could go either way….does anyone know definatively how you tell the difference? I am going to do a bit of research….