Weed of the Week #2 – White wood aster

White wood aster is a late-flowering perennial that many may consider a weed. It is found rather abundantly in Eastern North America and is distinguished by its flowers which can be found in late summer through fall (it’s still blooming now in NYC). The flower heads have a yellow center that turn a bluish-red surrounded by white rays. The reason this beautiful late flowering native plant is sometimes called a weed is because it can grow almost anywhere. It loves the shade and can tolerate dry soil.

Where It’s From: abundant in Eastern North America, but largest populations are found in Appalachian mountains.

Where It’s Found: dry open woods and along forest edges and clearings

Where To Find It (In NYC): along forest edges and under trees in Prospect and Central Parks and sometimes in pure stands such as the one in Carl Schurz Park in Northern Manhattan.

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