As a beginner armchair botanist, I can hardly claim any expertise in the identification of asters. They come in such a high variety, with only the slightest differences between them, that I have wasted hours trying to distinguish one sort from another. Am I seeing a bushy aster (aster dumosus), a calico aster (aster latiflorus), a little of both, or something else entirely? After several doubtful attempts to label a few of them properly on my Wildflowers of the Monocacy page, I’ve decided to dump pictures of them here, in a despairing blog post.
Despair aside, however, asters really are as bright and lively as the stars for which they are named. Right now, they are constellations of white light in yellow fields of goldenrod; delicate pinpricks of color.