Friends of the Wild Flower Garden
Autumn at Eloise Butler is the time of Asters and Goldenrods. By mid-august the first of these autumn flowers are starting to bloom and while some are short-lived, the many varieties will provide a pageant of colors from white to rose to blue and gold until the seasonal frost stops all growth. Here are the main actors in this play. You can fine more photos and information on each plant in the "archive - plant list" and by clicking the links provided on the plant names.
Like star showers the wild asters, beloved by all, nod their heads in the rustling breezes of autumn. The picturesque beauty of natures last lovely gift of the season, range thru shades of sky-blue, purple, rose and white. There are no less than 25 species of wild aster in this locality adorning dry hills as well as fields and meadows and even the deep woods.
Altho the warm noon of autumn cools suddenly and a tangible coldness creeps over the earth with frost lying thick at dawn, the hardy asters remain untouched. Their beauty has given them a place in our cultivated gardens, where they are one of the pleasures of the mellow days of autumn.
Former Curator Martha Crone
“From year to year I become more and more attached to wild asters. They are so varied in color, habit, and form. The one I look at last, I like best of all.” Eloise Butler
Scientific names: In recent years botanists have reclassified many asters that were formerly in the genus Aster. The newer names are used here. Alternate common names are shown in (). Former Gardener Cary George once remarked that when so many varieties of Aster are growing in close vicinity to each other, they tend to hybridize and thus some are difficult to classify correctly. Details of the leaf structure of each aster will be found on the individual plant information pages.
Botanists have also done some reclassification of the Goldenrods. All were formerly in the Genus Solidago.
Poem taken from "Goldenrod" by Elaine Goodale Eastman (1863 - 1953)
The following 4 species are historical to the Garden and no longer extant. All are native to Minnesota.