Aster is a genus of about180 species in the family of Asteraceae, native to Eurasia.
Asters are popular perennial flowers, commonly seen in bouquets and gardens. The flower is actually a combination of tiny tubular flowers, grouped together in a central yellow disk and surrounded by petals, the ring of ray flowers. They resemble daisies because of their shape and yellow centers.
The name “aster” is derived from the Greek word “astron”, which means “star”, because of the shape of its flowers.
The name was given by the botanist Carl von Linnaeus.
Aster is a symbol of patience and elegance.
Interesting facts about Aster:
Asters in Greek Mythology
According to Greek mythology, the Goddess Astraea turned into a star. When the flood waters receded she wept for the loss of lives, her tears fell to earth and the beautiful Aster flower emerged.
Reclassification of the Asters
It’s worth to mention that majority of species formerly classified in genus Aster have been transferred to the other genera in the family Asteraceae in 1990s.
Benefits and Uses
The plant is used as a medicine for several therapeutic treatments.
Asters are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat coughs and other respiratory conditions. Their flowers are used as a treatment for snakebite in various cultures.
French soldiers used Asters to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers.
The flowers can be white, blue, purple, and red, mostly with yellow centers.
Asters are 60-180 cm (2-6 ft) tall.
Asters grow best in moist and well drained soil, with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5.