Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A triangle of aster flowers

with 30 comments

Triangle of Aster Flowers 8862

And finally from Great Hills Park on November 4, here are some wildflowers that do look like they belong in the same family as sunflowers and asters—because they are asters (Symphyotrichum spp.)

You’re looking straight down, so the orange-brown color you see came from fallen leaves on the ground below the flowers. Note the presence of a long-legged insect that was also underneath the asters.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 19, 2015 at 5:11 AM

30 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Once upon a time, I thought asters were asters: tiny lavender flowers that grew low to the ground and bloomed in fall. Silly me. This is another one to add to my mental collection of pink, white, lavender, gangly, bunchy, sparsely-blooming, thickly-blooming beauties — and they are beauties.


    November 19, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    • I’ve learned that there are many kinds of asters and that even botanists can have a hard time distinguishing them—something that makes me feel better when I can’t tell them apart. You might say that I don’t know my aster from my aster.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 19, 2015 at 8:17 PM

  2. Some of the last flowers we see here in late fall are the tiny asters. Warm weather and plenty of rain has given us plenty this year.

    Forecast for Friday night calls for 4-8″ of snow across middle IA. That will change as the models converge on final values in later runs. I hope they converge on a very small amount.

    Jim in IA

    November 19, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    • Asters are among the last flowers we see in central Texas, too. In spite of the extra rain we’ve had here (which you’ve already heard about), I haven’t seen any more asters than usual; in fact I think I’ve seen less.

      Happy (or not so happy) snow. It’s the latter part of November way up there on the Great Plains, so I don’t think we can be too indignant.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 19, 2015 at 8:24 PM

  3. Un grupo muy bonito. Una estupenda imagen.

    Isabel F. Bernaldo de Quirós

    November 19, 2015 at 8:56 AM

  4. They look ever so pretty. 🙂


    November 19, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    • Are you seeing many asters in Fredericksburg?

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 19, 2015 at 8:28 PM

      • I haven’t seen any here yet, but I must admit I don’t go around looking that much. I should do that more.
        Have a great weekend,


        November 20, 2015 at 10:45 AM

  5. So pretty. I like how you have also captured the range of pollination, from yellow to orange-brown.


    November 19, 2015 at 9:28 AM

  6. wonderful photo in colors and composition. Did you know that the word aster comes from the Greek word “asteri” which means “star”? That fits.


    November 19, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    • Yes, I knew that. From the same root we’ve borrowed and created words like asterisk and astronomy. The Latin word stella and the native English word star are also related, as is German Stern.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 19, 2015 at 8:34 PM

      • I’m really impressed by your intelligence, Steve.You seem to know a lot of languages, too. (I learned 5) Nowadays there are a lot of dumb people that don’t know anything and don’t want to strain their brains with anything.


        November 20, 2015 at 10:21 AM

        • I studied (in varying degrees) a bunch of languages in high school, college, and graduate school. At


          I have another blog in which I highlight connections in vocabulary between Spanish and English.

          Knowledge of several languages seems to be taken for granted in Europe, but not generally in the United States.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 20, 2015 at 9:33 PM

          • it would be good if it was true, that several languages were taken for granted here, but I know so many people that don’t even speak English. Having learned English, French, Latin, Hebrew and Greek gives me a good understanding for explaining words in English, French, Italian, Spanish that I didn’t know. In my holidays I tried to collect a bunch of English words that have a Greek origin, there are quite a lot, and in French, too. I think languages are very interesting and good to get in contact with other people. Having learned Latin makes me understand Italian and Spanish without having learned it. But it was terribly boring at school. I will take a look at your other blog. Have a nice week-end, regards Mitza


            November 21, 2015 at 11:11 AM

            • Like you, I found Latin, my first foreign language, helpful when I studied French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Catalan (in that order, and to varying degrees), and of course each new one of those helped with the ones that came after. Unlike you, though, I didn’t find Latin boring in school. Even after half a century, I still remember many of my conjugations and declensions, though some have slipped away.

              Steve Schwartzman

              November 21, 2015 at 9:29 PM

              • These languages that cannot really be spoken are a bit “difficult” to learn when you are young. We had the Punic Wars or something like that in school. But anyway at that time I didn’t see any sense to learn Latin, but now with a lot more of experience like you have, too, I find out how important it was. Have a nice day, regards Mitza


                November 22, 2015 at 10:27 AM

  7. That’s really a pretty shot! For some reason I completely missed the best time of the asters this year, something I always look forward to!


    November 19, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    • I know how that happens. I look forward to various species each season, but some of them get away from me because I can’t be everywhere.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2015 at 9:36 PM

  8. Asters are some of the last flowers we see here in fall. This little aster wedge is quite attractive. You got it at just the right time.

    Steve Gingold

    November 20, 2015 at 3:51 AM

    • I was happy to see these asters in a triangular array. For whatever reason, I didn’t take many other aster pictures this fall, though there may still be a chance for a few.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2015 at 9:38 PM

  9. Are these the tiny little asters that threaten to take over my Bermuda grass lawn? The ones with the stiff, hard stems that make walking barefoot difficult? The ones that turn black in the winter? If so, I can’t say that I appreciate them. They may be pretty up close, but I sure wish I didn’t see so many of them.


    November 20, 2015 at 8:04 AM

  10. They sure do look like they are from the Asteraceae family … wonderful pic btw


    November 20, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    • Yup, this time there was no mistaking the family, whose botanical name comes from these very flowers. Glad you like the picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2015 at 9:45 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: