Naturally Speaking: New England aster a sign of fall
As your annuals succumb to frost and your perennials start to wither, one native flower is glowing in the limelight – New England aster. This plant flowers from September through October in prairies and open woods statewide and even sometimes lingers into November.
You'll see it mingling with various goldenrods along the roadsides and in native prairies. What you'll immediately notice is a bush-like plant overloaded with flowers that have yellow centers surrounded by about 30 purplish rays or florets. Purple and yellow are complementary colors, offering a calming, pleasing feel to those who stop to look.
A widespread plant, New England aster can be found growing almost everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. It's one of a variety of asters that grow in Illinois, but it's by far the most distinctive and colorful.
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