The American members of the genus Aster have been moved to the genus Symphyotrichum, and we hope they like it there. This is our showiest Aster, and the pink form is fairly rare; Gray would make it var. roseus (which, in the neuter genus Symphyotrichum instead of the masculine Aster, would be var. roseum). We also have pictures of the usual purple form and the very rare white form.
Gray describes the genus Aster (where all North American species of Symphyotrichum lived until recently) and the species:
ASTER [Tourn.] L. STAR-WORT, FROST-FLOWER, ASTER. Heads many-flowered, radiate; the ray-flowers in a single series, fertile. Bracts of the involucre more or less imbricated, usually with herbaceous or leaf-like tips. Receptacle flat, alveolate. Achenes more or less flattened; pappus simple, of capillary bristles (double in 4 and 5). Perennial herbs (annual only in 7 and 8), with corymbed, panicled, or racemose heads, flowering chiefly in autumn. Rays white, purple, blue, or pink; the disk yellow, often changing to purple. Species often without sharply defined limits, freely hybridizing. (Name aster, a star, from the radiate heads of flowers.)
A. nòvae-ángliae L. Stem stout, hairy, 0.5-2.6 m. high, corymbed at the summit; leaves numerous, lanceolate, entire, acute, auriculate-clasping, 930. A. oblongifolius. clothed with minute pubescence, 0.5- 1 dm. long; bracts nearly equal, linear-awl-shaped, loose, glandular-viscid, as well as the branchlets; rays violet-purple, rarely white, very numerous; achenes hairy. Moist chiefly calcareous grounds, centr. Me. to w. Que., westw. and south w. Aug.-Oct. Heads large ; a very handsome species, popular in cultivation. (Escaped from gardens, and locally naturalized in Eu.) FIG. 931. Var. róseus (Desf.) DC. Rays pink or rose-color. Range of the typical form, local.