Friday, October 1, 2010

Wildflower of the Month/October-White Heath Aster

White Heath Aster
October in Appalachia is Aster month.  Members of the Aster family, dominate our landscape. We have over twenty five species, in our region.

White Heath Aster (Aster pilosus), while not being the showiest member of the family; may be the most common. It is also the longest blooming aster of our region and can be seen, during most years into November.

Asters are composites, the bloom is composed of the disc flowers, which are tubular and found in the center. The colorful ray flowers in shades of purple,pink,blue or white make up what we think is the simple flower.  White Heath Aster has several common names:  Nailrod, Steelweed and Michaelmas Daisy.  It can be found in fields, wasteplaces and roadsides and is one of the lastest available food sources for many species.

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