Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aster novae-angliae fall color

The brilliant fall colors aren't just up in the trees or down in the bushes. Aster novae-angliae is a New England aster that looks like it was tie-dyed.

The red stems, the dark purple/brown seed heads, the multicolored leaves all look fantastic against the backdrop of our dormant lawn. It's just another reason I'm hoping this plant spreads like a weed.

Here's another reason to not clear out the garden until next March. Colors aside, the seed heads are up off the ground where birds can easily get at them. After it snows over the winter all the lower growing plants become covered. The upper growth to herbaceous perennials keep the seeds up above the snow line and offer them up to birds. The snow melts off the top of the plants first and reveals the seeds when they're needed most.