New England Aster at Beechwood / Don Valley: September 16, 2020

I have been seeing up to ten aster species around these days and the most striking is certainly the New England Aster.

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

This lovely aster grows in open, usually moist to wet ground including meadows, fields, edges of streams and rivers, along banks and along roadsides.

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) with Monarch

The ray colour varies from blue to purple.

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

It is a large, stout, hairy and leafy plant.

2 colours of New England Aster (the pinker ones are a garden variety)

New England Aster somewhat resembles Purple-stemmed Aster which grows in wetter sites.

Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum)

In 1830 it was reported that New England Aster was used to remove the poisonous state of the skin caused by Poison Ivy.

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

First Nations peoples smoked the root in order to attract deer.

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

Other botany today:

Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia)
Dog-strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Spearscale (Atriplex patula)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
White Campion (Silene latifolia)
Redroot Pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus)
Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)

Park views:

Monarch in goldenrod

Some birds:

Song Sparrow
Turkey Vulture

Species list: mallard, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, ring-billed gull, northern flicker, downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, gray catbird, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, cedar waxwing, house sparrow, northern cardinal, song sparrow.  (16 species)

Today’s group:


The asters twinkle in clusters bright,
While the corn grows ripe and the apples mellow.       – Celia Thaxter (1835–94) 

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “New England Aster at Beechwood / Don Valley: September 16, 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    I love (and miss!) this place. I’m still not sure about those painted slabs, though. I’ll have to see them in person–someday. Hi everyone!


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