Asters are a mainstay of the fall pollinator garden. From the stately royal purple blooms of New England aster to the dainty stars of white woodland aster, there are over 35 native species from which to choose. As summer’s flowers fade, asters step in to provide a beautiful display and a welcome source of nectar.. But is timing the only thing that makes them so highly attractive to pollinators?
The center of each aster ‘flower’ is actually made up of a tight cluster of many (up to 300) individual florets. Each of these is like a tiny cup brimming with nectar. The florets open successively (working from the outside towards the center), assuring pollinators that the ‘nectar buffet’ will be open for many weeks!
With so many different species that thrive in a variety of conditions, there’s sure to be a native aster (or two) that would do well in your pollinator garden. Try one, and reap the benefits!
Photo: Lisa Schneider