September and Asters ~ just right!

September 12, 2016 / Blooms Today

The word September has come down from the old Roman word “septem” meaning seven, and indeed, it is the seventh month. Anglo-Saxons called this “Gerst monath” for “barley month” because it was the time of year to harvest barley into barley brew. Other cultures refer to September as Harvest month, and it does definitely evoke images of harvest, home, hearth and warm shades of red, brown, orange and gold. It’s also a beautiful transition period of winding down from summer, yet not quite revving up for winter. 


The September flower is the aster, a sweet little bloom with a star-shaped head, akin to a daisy. The word itself comes from Greek for “star”. You can grow asters for late summer and autumn color in the garden when most flowers are spent for the season. There are annual and biennial varieties as well, but most are perennials. Purple seems to be most common, though asters also grow in white, red and pink. They grow wild in many parts of the U.S., towering as high as eight feet tall, though most are much shorter. As they are not super reliable for uniform germination, most people buy plants to begin with.

purple-asterThey like part to full sun and are a hardy plant for moist, well-drained soil; several are drought-resistant. Asters prefer cool nights, and one sweet bonus of having them in the garden is their butterfly attraction. According to lore, they were once burned to repel snakes, and a Hungarian revolution in 1918 is known as the “Aster Revolution” because protestors wore this little flower. They are also called:

      • starworts
      • Michaelmas daisies
      • frost flowers

These wee tubular flowers are concentrated in a cluster in the central circle, then surrounded by little spiky petals dubbed “rays” like sun rays. The rays are usually purple and never yellow. The hub in the center is usually yellow, however. The whole fragrant flower generates a delightfully dainty and delicate presentation that blends into and complements a multitude of floral arrangements. Asters are a mainstay all fall at

pink-asterSeptember’s birthstone is the ever-elegant sapphire, and the entire month has many national designations along with sensible and not-so-sensible days. Among these are:

  • National Classical Music Month
  • National Piano Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • National Courtesy Month
  • Baby Safety Month
  • Little League, Self Improvement, Chicken, Honey and more …

If you are looking for something on the sensible side, Sept. 11 is Grandparents Day (perfect for sending flowers from with asters in them!). Sept. 17 is Constitution Day, and International Peace Day falls on Sept. 21. If you feel like doing something a bit on the silly side, you can honor one of these September days:

          • video game day, 12
          • defy superstition day, 13
          • make a hat day, 15
          • collect rocks day, 16
          • talk like a pirate day, 19
          • elephant appreciation day, 22
          • checkers day, 23

white-asterYou can even ask why days and months are designated thus on the 30th, which happens to be Ask a Stupid Question Day. Lists of special days in September aside, it is a beautiful month for sending fall flowers and embracing the dearness of family, friends and outdoor weekend fun.

By Joanne M. Anderson

Photo Credit:

Photographer Stefan Schweihofer offered the photograph of Colorful Aster under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Marian Mills offered the photograph of Purple Aster under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer rabsbenja offered the photograph of Pink Aster under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Manfred Antranias Zimmer offered the photograph of White Aster under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

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