Flowers, perhaps more than any other part of the natural world, are fascinating because of the many layers of meaning people have shrouded them in throughout history.
There is a whole sub-category of etiquette surrounding which flowers are appropriate to give at what times, and to whom. The unending rules surrounding something so simple as a flower can be dizzying.
Another aspect of flower lore concerns the designated flowers for each month of the year. September’s official flower is the aster.
The aster is a daisy-like flower featuring a dense center surrounded by small petals. Native to Europe and Asia, these hardy flowers are frost resistant, and many species bloom in the fall. Asters come in a range of colors, most prominently purples, pinks, blues, and white. They are a close relative of chrysanthemums, another fall flower.
The flowers got their name from the Latin word for “star,” due to its star-like shape. Asters are a popular garden flower because of their bright, cheerful appearance, the ease with which they can be grown (they can grow in all hardiness zones), and their late bloom time, which makes them a good complement to early risers. Asters are also great for attracting butterflies.
According to ancient lore, burning aster leaves was once believed to drive away snakes. Among the meanings and traits ascribed to them are patience, daintiness, faith, wisdom, and valor.