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Asters--from the Latin for "star"--have acquired the common name Starwort. Most, from tiny dwarfs to shoulder-high sentries, have daisy-like flowers with petals that radiate out from a central disk in a dynamic star-burst pattern.
Asters, like Mums, are quintessential fall-blooming perennials, but there are also varieties that bloom in spring and summer. As a group, Asters prefer full sun and evenly moist but well-drained soil. They perform poorly in dry soil. Plant in mass for best effect or interplant among other perennials. Asters will add vivacity to almost any garden site, from borders to rock gardens, or streamsides to dry sites.