Family – Asteraceae – Aster
This wild, fall blooming wildflower is so covered with small, pure white blossoms that it seems to explode with color. It usually is found in fairly large colonies in fields and meadows bordering woodlands. From a distance the plants almost seem like an intense white cloud of color, and when blooming in conjunction with goldenrod the effect can be quite breathtaking in the autumn sun. The freshly opening flowers can have a slight bluish hue, and look especially striking in the early morning or late afternoon autumn sun.
The range of the Small White Aster runs from Maine in the United States, Ontario in Canada, and west to Michigan. Then south to North Carolina, Indiana and Missouri. It is a perennial wildflower, blooming during September through mid October.
Since there are more than 150 species of wild asters in North America, identification can be somewhat difficult sometimes. On this in, the flowers will be clustered on one side of the purplish tinged stem. The flowers are approximately one-half inch in diameter. The plants will range from two to five feet in height and may arch back towards the ground.
For those wishing to incorporate wildflowers in the perennial garden, this one may be a bit “weedy” looking. But in the right spot, it can add a bit of fall color to the normally bland perennial garden. The Small White Asters mass of tiny white blossoms are sure to please the eye, especially in combination with other fall blooming wildflowers.