Aster Cordifolius, the “Heart- leaved aster”, is blooming now. Along partly shaded roads. In the verge behind the Sully’s grocery in Goffstown. In old cemeteries. My sister’s garden in Bow has it foaming over the hostas in her front yard.
I have it here in New Boston, though the relentless, repeated attacks by the woodchucks kept it from blooming. No well drained soil deters it, and if the person who invites it into garden beds does not cut down the spent blooms and toss them far away, its seedlings can swamp the flower beds the next spring.
At the Goffstown Historical Society this aster, along with Aster divarticus, the White Wood Aster and the Blue stemmed goldenrod, has naturalized in the shady places and along the stone walls. It is a blue cloud, a mist against the granite stones.
There is much variation from plant to plant. Some blooms are smaller. Some less dense, and some range from white to blue to violet. There are several cultivars available, which is why I ended up buying two plants of “Avondale”.
As my mother used to say, this was like carrying coals to Newcastle. But I bought these two plants because of their upright habit, their darker violet flowers, and their stunning garnet colored foliage. Here are three photos of them planted in front of the brick foundation of a historical schoolhouse at Parker Station in Goffstown.
I have never seen this color in this aster’s foliage before. Perhaps it is unique to the cultivar, perhaps it is a result of nursery planting in full sun. I hope it persists.